by Chris Abbott
EXT. COLORADO SPRINGS - DAY ONE
Colorado Springs is bustling with activity. The Sully wagon passes
the train station. Inside are Sully, Mike, Katie, Brian and Wolf.
Mike is carrying Katie in the sling made for her by Sully. The baby
basket is in the back of the wagon with Brian. It's a crisp fall
day. Sully, Mike and Brian are wearing jackets. Brian is enthusiastically
explaining his day's plans to Mike. He's holding a drawing in his
hand which is nearly completed.
Sully's takin' me out to Red Rocks so I can finish my drawin'. Then
I'm gonna make a model of it.
Sounds like an ambitious project.
BRIAN (a grin)
That's what Miss Teresa said.
Colleen's taking geology this term at college. Perhaps she could
offer you some pointers.
What time's her train from Denver arrive?
One o' clock.
ANOTHER ANGLE - AS THE WAGON TURNS DOWN THE MAIN ROAD
A banner has been hung above the road. Brian looks up at it as they
pass beneath it.
BRIAN'S POINT OF VIEW
We read it, as Brian does:
Sweetheart's Dance Saturday Night.
RESUME ANGLE ON WAGON
as he sees:
ANGLE - THE GENERAL STORE
Sara, Brian's friend, comes out of the general store and walks up
ANGLE - TO INCLUDE BRIAN
Brian notices Sara and becomes paralysed with Sudden Shyness Syndrome.
He returns a slight smile and a tiny, little wave. Mike and Sully
are oblivious to the romantic drama playing out between Brian and
Emma has had five new orders for dresses for the dance.
CLOSE ON BRIAN
As he watches Sara getting further and further away.
I think there is going to be a very big turn out this year.
Don't forget to save a dance for your pa, Katie.
Sully is smiling down at Katie. Mike smiles at Sully and then looks
back at Brian. She doesn't know how to interpret the sick look on
Brian? Are you all right?
Brian nods, not trusting his own voice quite yet. She's not convinced.
He croaks it out.
He smiles as an offer of proof. But after Mike turns back around,
fear replaces confidence on Brian's face as he thinks of Sara once
again. He looks at his drawing to get his mind off his dilemma.
CLOSE ON THE DRAWING
of the Red Rock formation now know as Garden of the Gods. As CAMERA
MOVES IN ON THE DRAWING, we:
EXT. RED ROCKS - DAY ONE (STOCK)
The Red Rocks formation.
Ain't no other place on earth like this one, I bet.
No place I've ever seen.
REVERSE ANGLE TO SEE
Sully and Brian in the wagon. There are no red rock formations behind
them. Brian is working on his drawing. From the amount of work done,
it's apparent they've been here for awhile. Sully's leaned back
in the wagon, feet up, relaxing. Brian asks him a question as casually
as he can.
Sully? Can I ask you somethin'?
Say you wanted to ask somebody to a dance.
Sully plays like he doesn't already know what Brian's talking about.
Brian is caught up enough in his terror of the dance that he doesn't
see immediately that Sully is toying with him.
Like -- a girl, you mean?
Right. A girl. What would ya say to her?
You just say, "how would you feel about goin' to the dance
Brian nods, but he's troubled.
But -- what if you don't want to let on you're really askin' her?
Maybe -- in case she says "No"
Sully nods. He treats Brian's concern with dignity.
That's the risk ya gotta take.
Trying to keep his risk limited, Brian comes up with another question:
What'd you say to Ma? When you asked her?
I said "Michaela Quinn, will do me the great honor of goin'
to the dance with me?"
BRIAN (in awe)
Who told ya to say it like that?
He and Brian share a laugh over that and then Wolf, seeing something
some distance off, barks, jumps out of the wagon, and starts running
towards whatever it is he saw. Sully jumps out after him.
Wolf is excited about his find. He doesn't want to restrain himself,
but he does so, reluctantly, while Sully walks over to him.
BRIAN (calling to him from the wagon)
What is it?
Sully is close enough now to see that the object is:
a hawk. The bird is alive, but motionless. Sully takes off his jacket
to cover the bird, who appears to be in shock.
Sully turns at the sound of Brian's warning just in time to see
a hawk with an enormous wing spread swooping down on him.
Sully drops to the ground, holding an arm up as protection. The
hawk's talons take a bit of skin as the hawk pulls up and circles
for another attack. Wolf growls and barks, keeping the hawk at bay.
Brian jumps out of the wagon and starts running toward Sully.
CLOSE ON SULLY
He checks his arm. A little blood, but nothing serious. As Brian
You all right?
Fine. He's tryin' to protect his mate, is all. She's alive, but
she ain't movin'. If we leave her here, mountain lion'll get her.
He carries the jacket-enwrapped hawk with him as he and Brian run
back toward the wagon. Wolf runs to the wagon and jumps in.
The male hawk swoops down on Sully again. Wolf barks and leaps into
the air, throwing the hawk off. Sully looks back at the red rock
formation to find the nest.
RED ROCK FORMATION - STOCK
We see the hawk fly up and pause at the hole in the red rock which
is their nest.
There's the nest.
The hawk leaves the nest (Prod. Note: This is on the stock footage,
also) and begins its swoop down on Sully again.
Sully and Brian are already in the wagon, riding away. Brian is
holding the female hawk still nestled in the jacket. The male follows
them for a while, Wolf, in the wagon, barks at the male hawk.
CLOSER ON BRIAN
Brian looks down at the bundles on his lap, concerned for her safety.
INT. BARN - DAY ONE
CAMERA STARTS CLOSE on the hawk who is now standing on some straw
inside a basket. As camera pulls out, Sully finishes tying a tether
to her leg. The other side is secured to the box. Brian is looking
on with concern.
Hope she's gonna be all right.
Sully glances over at him, smiles.
SULLY (re: his blood stained shirt)
Why don't you keep her comp'ny while I take care of this.
EXT. BARN - DAY ONE
As Sully comes out of the barn, he is startled to see someone at
his front door. Sully calls out to him, not hostile, but obviously
The man, who we will learn is Welland Smith, turns at the sound
of Sully's voice. Smith is in his late thirties, early forties,
a handsome man with an open expression.
Lookin' for a man named Byron Sully.
I'm Sully. Who are you?
Smith's face breaks into a big grin. He hurries down the steps to
shake Sully's hand.
Welland Smith, sir. Am I glad to find you. I've come all the way
from Washington, DC to offer you a job.
Sully is surprised by this announcement, but he doesn't give much
away as Smith stands beaming at him.
END OF TEASER
EXT COLORADO SPRINGS - GENERAL STORE - DAY ONE
Matthew and Emma drive up in a wagon. She's holding a string of
fish (four or five).
INSIDE THE GENERAL STORE
Loren is going over some paperwork. He glances out the window. Sees:
MATTHEW AND EMMA
Playful, enjoying each other's company. He watches as they get out
of the wagon, come towards the door.
ANGLE - AT THE DOOR - FROM INSIDE THE STORE
As Emma and Matthew reach the door, they both hesitate. There's
an awkwardness about "should we kiss"/"shouldn't
we". They're both uncomfortable about it and they both try
to rescue the moment at the same time. Matthew leans in to kiss
her cheek. At the same time, she reaches up to pat the upper part
of his arm.
I had a good time -- oh!
They laugh as his kiss lands on her arm.
My fault (beat). You -- wanta have supper later?
I'd like to, but I gotta lot of work to do on those dresses.
For the dance. Sure. Well, I'll -- see ya later.
She nods and smiles and he turns and leaves. Neither of them has
seen Loren, so Emma is slightly startled at his voice:
LOREN (a big sigh)
I s'pose now I've gotten used to ya, you're gonna up and leave me.
She recovers from her surprise, but we get a sense that she's concealing
something when she responds.
Just like a woman. You start to depend on 'em, they go an' get married.
She sees now that he's joking with her, in his own curmudgeonly
way. She smiles at him, looks at him askance.
Who's gettin' married?
Loren realizes he's made an assumption and although what he wants
to do is give her his blessing, he's not quite sure now how to extricate
himself from this conversation.
I thought -- that is, the two of you --
She laughs, letting him off the hook.
I just started my new business. I ain't ready to get married yet.
He wants her to find a way to seize happiness before it drifts away.
Oh! Well, if that's all that's botherin' ya, we can work somethin'
out. You could work half days or every other day --
EMMA (full of enthusiasm)
But I don't want to work half days. I want to be here all day. Every
day. This business is all I ever dreamed about.
She reaches up and kisses him on the cheek, then hands him the fish.
He can't let her know that he's pleased she kissed him. So he covers
with a complaint about the fish.
Ahhhhh! My clothes!
On her way toward her sewing area, cheerfully:
Could you take them over to Grace's for me? I have a fitting in
He grumbles his way out of the store, stopping long enough to smell
his vest for any hint of fish smell.
ANGLE - EMMA'S SEWING AREA
Emma sits at her sewing machine. She opens a drawer and takes a
small wooden box out from underneath scraps of material. She opens
the box and removes the contents.
CLOSE ON - THE CONTENTS
Which consist of a letter addressed to her, General Delivery, Colorado
Springs. The return address on the letter says: Gilda St. Clair,
Hotel Paris, Paris, France. Along with the letter is a program from
a concert in London, England with Gilda St. Clair's silhouette on
She holds the letter, not even wanting to read it right now, but
wanting to be reassured by its presence. She smells the fading perfume.
She rubs her thumb over the stamp. She turns the program over n
her hand. She is obviously weighing something in her mind, but what
that is right now we don't know.
INT. CLINIC - DAY ONE
Mike is holding Katie and feeding her from a bowl. This is a pleasurable
moment between mother and daughter.
My, what a big girl! (playfully). I want you to know I appreciate
your eating this delicious baby food. It makes it easier for Mommy
to be a doctor.
Katie gurgles and waves her hands and feet around as if she actually
understands Mike. Dorothy comes hurrying into the clinic, carrying
He said yes!
Mike is delighted to see her friend, but is also still completely
caught up in Katie's latest accomplishment.
Dorothy! Look how well Katie is eating packaged baby food.
Dorothy doesn't want to be side tracked but she also doesn't want
to be rude to Mike or Katie. She does her best to show enthusiasm.
My. Yes. She certainly is. (A more abrupt transition than she meant
to make; re: the letter). Look! I got the go ahead. From my publisher.
She hands the letter to Mike and continues on, pleased:
I'm writin' a new book. Not about Colorado Springs, I already done
that. This one's about the Indians. Well, not all the Indians. It's
about Cloud Dancin'.
Got the idea for it during his trial. Why, he sat there under attack,
all that time, never once looked scared or angry. I got to thinkin',
most people don't get to see somethin' like that. So I'm gonna write
a book about it.
MIKE (she knows her friend)
And -- what does Cloud Dancing say about this book?
He doesn't know about it yet. I'm goin' up to talk to him first
thing in the mornin'. Soon's I figure out what to say. Ain't this
Yes, it certainly is.
We can see that Mike is trying to be completely positive and optimistic
for her friend, but that there is something beneath the surface
she isn't giving away. Move in on Mike and ...
EXT COLORADO SPRINGS - DAY ONE
As Mike (carrying Katie in the sling) and Brian walk along the road.
... and then a hawk attacked him.
We come across the wounded hawk an' while we was tryin' to rescue
her from mountain lions, her mate started attackin' Sully.
Brian realizes he's over dramatized just a bit too much. He backs
away from it a touch.
It wasn't as bad as it sounds.
MIKE (a smile to herself)
I'm relieved to hear that.
They pass beneath the "Sweetheart's Dance" banner, which
Are you going to ask Sara to the Sweetheart's Dance?
I was gonna -- but I haven't seen her around lately.
And, of course, at that exact moment, Sara comes around the corner
and nearly smacks into Brian.
SARA (pleased to see him)
Sara! We were just talking about you.
Sara's eyes light up. She looks at Brian.
Brian, awkward and nervous, looks at Mike, 911 flashing in his eyes.
Mike realizing discretion is the better part of motherhood, makes
an excuse to leave them alone together.
Oh. How silly. I completely forgot -- something. Will you excuse
me? I'll be right back.
Mike moves off far enough to keep an eye on them without appearing
to eavesdrop on them. Brian scuffles the dirt, looks at his feet.
Sara tries to help him.
Lotta people goin' to the Sweetheart's Dance, I hear.
Brian nods, doing his best to wrangle up the courage to ask her.
You reckon' you'll be goin'?
He looks up at her, takes a deep breath, goes for it.
Speakin' a that, I was wonderin' -- uh -- I was thinkin' that --
if you weren't doin' anythin' else --
If -- (he loses heart) -- if you could come over sometime and see
my geology project.
SARA (surprised and a little disappointed)
Sure. (Beat). Was there anything else you wanted to ask me?
The sound of the train gives Brian his "out."
Colleen's train! Gotta go! Bye!
He bolts away from Sara, running for the train station.
ANGLE - ON MIKE
watching the abandoned invitation with a bittersweet smile. As she
hurries to catch up with Brian, we go to:
EXT. GRACE'S CAFE - DAY ONE
Smith is standing over a map he has spread out over one of Grace's
tables. Another man, in his early fifties, stands with him, glancing
at the map, glancing at Sully. Sully is examining the map with them.
Smith has the bearing and dress of a sophisticated politician, while
the other man, McKendrick, has all the earmarks of a mountain man.
Took McKendrick here three years to convince me this was a good
idea. Took me another two to convince Congress to even listen to
him. (Proud of their accomplishment). Next week, President Grant
will sign Senate Bill 392 ... let's see, here it is (reading from
a document) "An Act to set apart a certain Tract of Land lying
near the Headwaters of the Yellowstone River as a great national
Because there's never been one before, Sully is not exactly sure
what a national park is.
Protected land. Nobody can build on it, farm on it, or hunt on it.
It belongs to the country.
Sully is stunned and impressed.
You're sayin' congress has agreed to keep people off this land?
SMITH (proud of their accomplishment)
Tell 'em how you did it.
McKENDRICK (pointing to the map)
Told the Senators this land here was uninhabitable, not fit fer
farmin' -- in short, completely useless.
We're calling it Yellowstone National Park. What do you think?
It's -- great.
We're going to need someone to map out the boundaries, prepare reports
on the natural wonders, and protect two hundred head of buffalo.
Sully is astonished.
You have buffalo there?
Last ones on the continent. They'll be protected there, if we can
chase off the poachers.
President Grant -- you met him once I gather?
Sully half nods, half shrugs.
He's convinced you're the only man for this job. So what's your
answer, Mr. Sully? Can we tell the President you're accepting our
How soon do you need to know?
We need ya in Wyoming by the end a the week.
Sully has no idea what to say. His mind is reeling with the possibilities
and the obstacles. We hear again the sound of the train and we:
END OF ACT ONE
INT. BARN - NIGHT ONE
Colleen, holding Katie, and Brian watch while Mike finishes examining
the hawk. Sully is nearby but deep in thought.
I don't feel any broken bones.
Why wouldn't she be moving?
She may have bruised her chest. When I press there, even gently,
she becomes quite agitated. She won't be able to move until the
How long will that be?
I would think a day or two at the most.
BRIAN (mostly to himself)
I hope she can find her way back to her nest again.
Sully comes out of his reveries for this last line of Brian's. He
speaks quietly, his mind still working on the job offer.
We'll see to it she gets back.
MIKE (smiling at Sully)
We'll have to. Hawks mate for life. They'd be lost without one another.
But Sully doesn't acknowledge her remark. He's lost in thought again.
INT. HOMESTEAD - CLOSE ON COLLEEN AND KATIE - NIGHT ONE
Colleen is feeding Katie more of the baby food. Colleen is tickled
at how well Katie is doing.
Here you go -- open wide -- good, good, Katie.
WIDER TO SEE
Brian is working on his salt dough model of the Red Rock formation.
Sully is reading the Gazette. Mike is putting away the last of the
dishes. It's a Rockwell moment, all right.
COLLEEN (slight beat, then heartfelt).
When I'm at school, I miss you all so much.
You could quit school and come home.
MIKE (gentle reprimand)
Sometimes I wish I could. But I love school, too.
I'm so pleased to hear that Colleen.
COLLEEN (beat, thoughtful)
There is somethin' about bein' away that makes you feel -- funny
-- when you come back.
What'a ya mean "funny?"
Well, you don't even notice that you're missing home, and then the
train stops and you get out and -- there it is. The place you know.
The people who know you. Everything is right where you left it and
-- it makes you feel happy, but kinda sad at the same time.
That's because your roots are here. You want to grow and branch
out, but you also need to know that your feet are still firmly planted
in home soil.
I never thought about people having roots.
I believe people need roots the same as trees do.
She picks up Katie.
Come along, Katie. Time for you to go to sleep.
Mike carries Katie up the stairs to the bedroom, leaving Colleen,
Sully and Brian downstairs. Sully is thinking about what Mike just
said. Colleen moves over to the table and begins working on the
model with Brian.
You think people need roots, Sully?
SULLY (quiet, sincere)
I never did much thinkin' about it before.
He watches Brian and Colleen working for a moment, then gets up
and walks out the front door.
EXT. HOMESTEAD PORCH - NIGHT ONE - A SHORT TIME LATER
Sully is sitting on the porch. Mike comes out, sits down next to
MIKE (snuggling in)
Mmmmmm. This is my favorite part of the day.
He puts his arm around her and they enjoy the beautiful Colorado
You've been quiet tonight. Something on your mind?
Tell ya the truth, I was thinkin' about the train comin' to town.
That was such a terrible time, wasn't it, Sully?
It was -- hard.
You were so opposed to it -- you said you'd leave Colorado Springs
if the train came through here and -- I --
it was a complex issue, but Sully simplifies it.
You said you wouldn't.
MIKE (a smile)
You make it seem so simple. (Beat, remembering the pain of the time).
But it wasn't simple at all.
She waits for him to go on. When he doesn't:
What made you think about that?
He's not ready to talk about this yet, even though he'd thought
Just -- crossed my mind. That's all.
We hold on them sitting in silence, each lost in his/her own thoughts.
EXT. INDIAN RESERVATION - DAY TWO
As close to dawn as we can manage. Dorothy rides on to the reservation.
She looks around for Cloud Dancing. She sees him.
Cloud Dancing turns to see her. Dorothy dismounts, walks toward
DOROTHY (a little nervous)
I was wonderin' if I -- could I talk to you -- about somethin'?
He smiles warmly at her, a little curious about what might bring
her to talk to him. He motions a direction for her to take so they
can talk privately. And we:
EXT. A QUIET PART OF THE RESERVATION - DAY TWO
Dorothy and Cloud Dancing sit on a small rise overlooking the reservation.
Dorothy starts in with as much confidence as she can muster.
Goodness it's hard to know where to start. Fact, I was up most a
the night, tryin' to find the right way to say this -- (beat) You
-- know what I wrote a book about Colorado Springs -- ?
Well -- I wrote to my publisher about another book -- and he said
he'd publish it.
He smiles at her, pleased for her.
I -- I was gonna write the book about you.
His face becomes immediately expressionless as he listens to what
else she has to say. He gives away none of his thoughts, but she
feels the palpable change which has come over him.
So many people are -- scared and misinformed. I -- want to show
them that not all Indians are bad.
She hears how bad that sounds the minute it's out of her mouth and
she'd give anything to take it back, but it's too late. It's already
hanging in the air.
That isn't what I mean to say at all. What I mean to say is --
She thinks a moment about what it is she did mean to say and she
recognizes it right away and says it to him with great vulnerability
-- that I know you are -- different than what most people think
Indians are like. And I want them to see you the way I do.
He is touched by her obvious sincerity.
CLOUD DANCING (quietly, gently)
I am honored that you wish to write a book about me.
Dorothy is holding her breath.
But I cannot allow it.
He gets up. She jumps up also.
But -- but -- why not?
The reasons are not important.
They are to me.
She's right. He thinks a moment, then, with no bitterness, just
My people are scattered and dying. I can not see how any good will
come from giving the white man more knowledge about them.
He turns and walks away from her. She watches him go, devastated.
INT. CLINIC - DAY TWO
Colleen, Mike and Katie come in. Mike puts Katie in her cradle.
COLLEEN (trying to be casual)
I wonder when Andrew's coming back from Boston.
MIKE (casual, playing with Colleen)
He is back.
He's probably having coffee at Grace's right now.
Colleen glances out the window, turns, back, tyring not to show
how anxious she is to see him. Mike lets it sit for a tiny little
beat, just long enough to wind Colleen up.
You could go let him know that we're here.
COLLEEN (trying to appear unconcerned)
If you really want me to --
Colleen springs for the door, still two parts young lady, one part
wild-spirited teenager. Mike smiles after her.
EXT. GRACE'S CAFE - DAY TWO
Smith and McKendrick are eating breakfast at Grace's. Colleen comes
in, looks around, sees Andrew sitting by himself, having a cup of
coffee, reading the Gazette.
He looks up, smiles, happy to see her.
She hurries over to his table. There is an awkwardness between them
as they greet each other, each obviously happy to see the other,
but not wanting to appear too smitten, either.
Your mother -- mentioned that you were coming home for the Sweetheart's
Colleen is embarrassed that Mike would relay this information to
COLLEEN (trying to appear nonchalant)
I didn't come home just for the dance.
Not that I don't want to go. Of course I want to go. I just meant
there are other reasons, too --
She's digging herself further in, but fortunately she is saved by:
Colleen and Andrew look up to see Becky hurrying over to their table.
Becky seems unusually awkward and tongue tied.
I'm sorry I -- couldn't make it to the train station yesterday,
but I was gonna come see you -- today. After -- awhile -- at the
Colleen thinks perhaps Becky is embarrassed because she has interrupted
Colleen and Andrew. Colleen tries to make her friend feel better.
Sure. That'll be fine. I'll be there in another half hour or so.
Andrew and Becky stare at her. Colleen is baffled by their behaviour.
Is it possible they think she's being rude? She changes direction.
Or - you're welcome to join us for a cup of coffee, if you like.
Becky looks at Andrew, wondering if she's misunderstood something
along the way.
I had -- already invited Becky. To have breakfast. With me.
Colleen is mortified by her misinterpretation of the situation.
She tries to salvage any part of pride or ego still intact.
Ohhh! Yes. Yes, of course. I didn't --
Becky hates this awkwardness between them. Now she tries to salvage
You could join us.
No! Ma's waitin' for me at the clinic. I just stopped by to let
Andrew know she's here. That's all.
Good. (Beat) Then ... I'll see you later. At the clinic.
Colleen turns and walks away as quickly as she can without looking
like she's fleeing. Becky wants to go after her -- a little bit.
More of her wants to stay with Andrew.
EXT. CLINIC - DAY TWO
Colleen comes running around the corner of the building from Grace's
cafe. She stops abruptly once she's around the corner. How could
she have made such a blunder? She's embarrassed, and a little hurt
and confused. As she sorts out her feelings, and catches her breath,
INT GENERAL STORE - DAY TWO
Brian is helping Loren stack merchandise as Loren responds to a
The first time I asked a girl to a dance?
Yeah. What'd you say to her?
Oh, I practised a lotta things, but by the time I got the courage
up to ask her, it was too late. She'd already agreed to go with
BRIAN (worried this could happen to him)
So what'd you do?
I asked her sister.
Sara comes into the General Store. Loren is surprised to see her.
Sarah! Shopping twice in one day?
Sara doesn't lie very well.
My ma -- forgot a few things. She gave me this list.
Loren takes the list. We can see, as he looks at it, that there
is only one item on the list. And the handwriting looks more like
that of a girl Sara's age than of her mother's age.
Loren glances over at Brian and sees that he's turned into a statue.
Loren understands immediately what the situation is.
Soap! Of course, soap.
There are shelves full of different kinds of soap behind Loren.
He doesn't turn around to look at them. Instead, he gives it some
I know I have some soap, but I can't remember where I stored the
darn stuff. Why don't you kids talk while I look for it.
Brian makes no move. Loren nudges him.
LOREN (whispering to Brian)
He who hesitates is lost!
Sara smiles at Brian as Loren sets about to look busy.
EXT. MATTHEW'S HOMESTEAD - DAY TWO
There are a few chickens roaming about. Sully's horse and Matthew's
horse are nearby. Sully and Matthew work on mending a portion of
broken fence. They work in silence a few moments. Matthew is deep
in thought. Sully notices. Finally, Matthew confides in him.
Sully, how do you know -- when it's the right thing to ask somebody
to marry ya?
There ain't any doubt. You know.
Matthew nods, not reassured.
You 'n Emma makin' plans?
Been thinkin' about it a long time. Sometimes I feel real good about
And other times?
I feel -- bad -- that I don't feel good about it.
Sully waits to Matthew to explain.
Ya couldn't find anybody sweeter -- or prettier. She makes me laugh.
She's always pointin' out things I woulda missed -- like a squirrel
runnin' up a tree or a deer on the ridge. I don't think I ever had
a better friend. (Beat) Thing is, I don't feel about her like I
felt about Ingrid.
Sully looks out over the land surrounding the homestead, thinks
for a long moment.
What do you want to do?
I -- wanna do what's right.
Sully realizes that's exactly what he needs to do as well.
SULLY (quiet strength)
Then tell her how you feel.
Matthew looks over at him, a little surprised and a little scared.
You're afraid of tellin' her 'cause you don't wanta upset her. Hurt
Matthew nods, that sounds right.
Problem is, you'll hurt her a lot more not bein' honest with her
(beat, to himself). You're only foolin' yourself if ya think you're
Matthew couldn't quite hear this part.
What did you say?
SULLY (a lighter mood, a brisk determination)
I said I gotta go talk to your ma.
What about the fence?
Sometimes roots are more important than fences.
What? Matthew has no idea what he's talking about. But it's all
right with him. He senses that Sully knows what Sully's talking
EXT. HOMESTEAD - DAY TWO - CLOSE ON MIKE
Digesting what Sully has just said to her. She's in shock.
Wyoming?! That's -- so far away.
WIDER - TO INCLUDE SULLY
Sully stands quietly, but with conviction about the rightness of
his decision, while she expresses her feelings.
We would have to give up everything we've worked so hard for --
our beautiful house -- all our friends here -- (another shock wave)
Matthew. And Colleen. They couldn't come with us.
We need time to think things through, carefully, so we don't make
a decision we'll later regret.
SULLY (gently, he knows this is hard for her)
They hafta know by the end of the week.
I need more time than that! Why didn't you talk to me about this
I knew you'd want me to turn it down.
Then why are we discussing it now?
I don't want to turn it down.
And you expect me to say yes, just like that?
Not "just like that," Michaela. I've given it a lot of
thought, now I'm askin' you to do the same.
She looks at him and then turns and runs into the house without
another word. Sully watches her go. He looks around at the homestead.
How can he help her understand how important Yellowstone Park is
-- can be -- to so many people. An idea starts to form, and we:
INT. BARN - NIGHT TWO
It's dark inside the barn. We can see the shadowy form of the hawk
flying. Now we see Sully still has her on the tether. He puts his
arm out. She flies back to him and perches on his arm.
INT. HOMESTEAD - NIGHT TWO
Mike needs to talk about this dilemma, but she knows she shouldn't
dump it on Colleen, so she asks in a roundabout way, certain that
Colleen will have no idea what her real question is.
MIKE (still slightly agitated)
Does it seem -- crowded here, to you? I know compared to Denver
it must seem very quiet, but compared to how it was when I first
met you, has Colorado Springs changed very much?
Colleen answers the question honestly and simply.
In some ways it hasn't changed at all. But in other ways -- the
railroad, the bank, the new hotel goin' up. It's like -- (she finds
the right metaphor) -- it's like Katie. You're around her all the
time so you don't see how much she's changed. But anyone comin'
back after bein' away can't help but see it.
It makes sense to Mike, even though it wasn't what she was hoping
to hear. At that moment, the door opens and in walks -- Matthew.
Mike is surprised to see him.
Matthew! I didn't know you were stopping by tonight. Let me fix
you something too eat.
No! No. I just stopped by to -- spend some time with Colleen.
COLLEEN (too fast and too nervous)
Yes! I forgot to tell you, Ma. I'm sorry.
But Mike smells a plot. Curious, but not wary:
What's goin on, here?
Fortunately, Brian runs in, saving Matthew and Colleen from having
to deny anything.
Ma! The hawk! You gotta help her, quick!
Mike runs out of the house.
EXT. HOMESTEAD - NIGHT TWO (CONTINUOUS)
As Mike hurries down the stairs, a horse comes thundering down the
road. We cannot tell who the rider is until he is upon us. He swoops
up Mike and lifts her up onto the galloping horse.
Sully! What are you doing?! Put me down! Sully!!!!
As Colleen, Matthew and Brian come out onto the porch to watch,
Sully and Mike disappear into the dark night.
ON THE KIDS
watching them ride off at a gallop. Colleen is worried.
I don't know if Ma is gonna like bein' kidnapped.
Sully wouldn't do it, 'less he had his reasons.
Yeah. He said it was important and she'd understand.
Colleen and Matthew aren't as optimistic. They turn and go back
into the house. Brian stays outside until he can no longer hear
the pounding horses hooves.
BRIAN (to himself)
Sure hope he was right.
He stays on the porch a moment longer, as we:
END OF ACT TWO
EXT. WOODS - NIGHT TWO
Sully and Mike come riding into a clearing in the woods. She is
still angry at his actions.
I cannot believe you are dragging me off into the woods in the middle
of the night.
He's in a cheery mood, confident she'll come around to his way of
thinking. He slides off the horse, moves over to an area where he
has already laid the firewood for a fire.
What if Katie needs me?
The kids're with her. They know where we are.
He lights the fire and stokes it.
There could be an emergency at the clinic --
Andrew's stayin' there 'til we get back.
By the light of the fire, she can see that he has already been out
her to bring bedrolls, a coffee pot, and to prepare the fire wood.
She's starting to relax, let go of her pride and play with him a
The least you could've done was ask.
If I had asked, don't ya think somethin' woulda come up -- so you
She has no reply -- he's dead on right. He stands up, moves to her,
pulls her close to him, kisses her long and hard. When he releases
her, she's speechless. Not to mention, breathless.
I -- just wasn't expecting to be -- kidnapped.
That's why they call it a surprise.
He smiles at her, she smiles back. He starts to prepare supper.
EXT. HOMESTEAD - NIGHT TWO - ESTABLISHING
INT. HOMESTEAD - NIGHT TWO
Brian is in the living room, looking into a mirror, practising.
"Sara, would you do me the great honor of goin' to the dance
Matthew comes in from the kitchen as Brian is practising.
Brian -- what're you so worried about? It's not like ya don't know
here. You even kissed her once.
That was dif'rent.
There's a dif'rence between knowin' somebody and askin' them to
a dance. What if she doesn't -- think about me like that? What if
she says no?
Matthew sits down next to him. He has a different question:
What if she says yes?
BRIAN (without hesitation)
That'd be great.
Matthew can see that Brian unhesitatingly knows his heart.
Then ask her.
Brian looks at Matthew. Can it be that simple?
On Brian, considering this radical thought.
EXT. RESERVATION - MORNING - DAY THREE
Dorothy rides up to the reservation again. She dismounts, walks
through the reservation looking for Cloud Dancing.
ANGLE - ON ONE OF THE CABINS
Little more than a shanty. Cloud Dancing has a small fire going.
He's doing his morning meditation. Dorothy respects his privacy,
does not move in close to him until he is finished.
Excuse me, Cloud Dancin'. I been thinkin' 'bout what you said. About
He waits to see what she has to say. She goes on:
Legally, I could write it without your permission, but I ain't --
I'm not -- gonna do that. But somebody will. (Beat). May I sit down?
He gestures for her to sit next to him. She does so.
Books are gonna be written about Indians and they'll be fulla mistakes
'cause mostly -- people don't care too much about the truth.
Cloud Dancing gives no discernible sign of his reaction to what
she's saying. He just listens.
If you could help me -- not help, I mean -- talk to me. Teach me.
Then we got a better chance at gettin' it right.
CLOUD DANCING (quiet, still firm)
There is no right or wrong in this. No matter what is put on paper,
it turns out badly for my people.
She sighs, leans in a little closer to him, speaks more quietly.
I will give you the book when I'm finished. If you don't like what
I've written, I'll burn it. No one else will ever read it.
Cloud Dancing sits silent a moment. This is an enormous offer. He
wants to find a way to show her what she is offering. He picks up
a large leaf, could be a page from a book.
You will give me what you have written --
And if I say no -- you will throw it into the fire? Like this?
He tosses the leaf into the fire. Dorothy watches the flames consume
it. It would kill her to have to do that to her book. Nevertheless:
DOROTHY (looking him square in the eyes)
Yes. I will.
HOLD ON DOROTHY AND CLOUD DANCING and then:
EXT. WOODS - DAY THREE
Sully wakes with a start. He looks around. Mike is nowhere to be
seen. He sits up.
EXT. WATERFALL - DAY THREE
Mike is sitting on a ledge next to the pool of water being made
by the waterfall. She's reflective.
comes through some trees, stops when he sees her. He's not wearing
a shirt, only his buckskins.
CLOSE ANGLE ON MIKE
As she senses Sully's presence, then looks up at him.
ANGLE TO INCLUDE SULLY
As he approaches her. She stands up. The waterfall separates them.
She moves into the waterfall, lifts her head up to it and lets it
wash over her, spilling off her hair to the pool below. Sully, without
regard for the buckskins he's wearing, wades into the pool and takes
her in his arms and they seem completely unaware of the water cascading
over them as he holds her and then embraces her and we ...
EXT. WOODS - CLOSE ON HAWK - DAY THREE
This is a long dissolve so that we understand that the hawk is the
symbol of their relationship. When we are completely on the hawk,
a hand reaches in to feed it.
WIDER ANGLE - TO SEE SULLY
The hawk is tethered to the ground. Sully leaves a scrap of meat
on the ground in front of the hawk.
ANOTHER ANGLE - TO INCLUDE MIKE
They two of them are working in silence to break camp. Some time
has gone by since the waterfall. Hair and buckskin are dry, the
bond between the two of them is reaffirmed. But there is still the
matter on the table.
MIKE (fairly casually)
What does this Yellowstone National Park look like?
These men from Washington said it's got geysers eruptin' every hour
and boilin' mud pots - all diff'rent colors.
How many other people would be going?
Sully stops the activity, sits down, gestures for her to sit with
him. She does. He talks to her without pressure, without coloring
the truth to make it look more attractive to her.
There'd be you, me, Brian, Katie an' a coupl'a hundred buffalo.
She knows this is the real discussion; the one where they put all
the cards on the table. The possibility of moving to such a remote,
unknown territory is frightening to her.
MIKE (her most basic fear)
If anything were to happen to the children, we could never get help
Lucky we got a doctor in the family.
They sit without talking. Sully says what's been in his heart since
Smith and McKendrick first asked him to take the job.
I didn't talk to you about this to upset you, Michaela. I know how
important Colorado Springs is to you. Your practise an' your friends.
MIKE (in case you've forgotten)
And everything that reminds me of you. Of us, when we first met.
He nods acknowledgment of that.
The thing I keep thinkin' about is -- if nobody stands up for the
land, what's gonna happen to it. What're we gonna leave for our
grandchildren -- and their grandchildren? (Beat). Figure they got
a right to share all this, too.
It hits home with her. She sits quietly, considering the ramifications
of saying yes.
EXT. RED ROCK FORMATION - DAY THREE (STOCK)
The male hawk is nowhere to be seen.
EXT. THE MEADOW SIDE - DAY THREE
Sully and Mike ride into the meadow area on Sully's horse. Sully
is carrying the hawk on his arm. Mike slides off the horse first,
then holds the reins as Sully and the hawk get off. Sully looks
HIS POINT OF VIEW -- THE ROCKS (STOCK)
Still no sign of life. Just rocks forever.
RESUME ON SULLY AND MIKE
Sully unties the leather strap from the hawk's leg, and removes
AERIAL SHOT - HAWK'S POV
We're looking from a great height down at Sully, Mike and the female
ON SULLY AND MIKE
The female hawk is sitting completely still. She's not going anywhere.
Then, we hear the startling sound of the male calling to her.
As Mike and Sully look up and at the hawk.
ON SULLY AND MIKE
The male calls again. This time the female rustles her feathers,
as if she's going to fly off, but she doesn't.
Mike and Sully look at each other, both aware of the parallels between
the hawk's situation and theirs.
ANOTHER ANGLE TO SEE
The hawk makes a swooping pass at Sully. Mike flinches, slightly.
Sully doesn't react at all.
ON SULLY AND MIKE
To see another pass of the male hawk. This time, as he soars upward,
the female stretches her wings and slowly takes flight. Mike and
Sully look at each other and then watch the hawks.
INTERCUT BETWEEN MIKE AND SULLY AND THE HAWKS
TBA. This sequence will be determined by the stock footage.
MIKE AND SULLY
Stand quietly a moment, each digesting what they've just seen. Finally:
Better be gettin' back.
They both walk toward the horse, two separate individuals, more
separate than they have been in a long time. Before they mount up,
she stops him. She knows she needs to say this fast or she might
change her mind.
I don't know how I'm going to adjust, giving up everything I know
for a second time .. Leaving the beautiful house, you built for
us ... leaving all our friends. Maybe I will hate our new life.
Maybe not. Maybe it will inspire me to do great things. I can't
predict what's going to happen. (Beat). When the train came to Colorado
Springs, you were determined to leave. But because it was important
to me, you stayed. (Beat). Now it's important to you that we go.
So -- I'll go.
He lets her words sit in the still morning air for a moment. Then
he tenderly, almost hesitantly puts his arms around her. There is
no sense of victory here for either one of them, just the pain of
having to respond to life's difficult choices.
CAMERA MOVES IN CLOSER
Mike is resting her head against Sully's neck as he holds her. Her
expression is peaceful, but tears are running down her cheeks.
END OF ACT THREE
EXT. HOMESTEAD - DAY THREE
As Sully and Mike ride up to the homestead.
Mike slides off the horse.
The children -- perhaps it would be better to tell them about this
after the Sweetheart's Dance.
He nods. He agrees that it's a good idea to wait.
EXT. A CLEARING - DAY THREE
It's afternoon. Cloud Dancing is in the middle of a traditional
dance demonstration for Dorothy. He explains it's meaning to her
as he does it. Dorothy takes notes.
This dance tells of a hunting party. The dancer is searching for
prey. He has a porcupine headdress, ribbons and an otter tail extending
down the back of the dancer. He calls to the prey.
Cloud Dancing lets out a loud "Whoop" which startles Dorothy.
He smiles and sits down beside her.
This is the way my people tell stories. With words, yes, but also
with dancing. There is one dance the reminds the members of the
tribe of endings and rebirths.
I'd like to see it.
CLOUD DANCING (shaking his head no)
It is danced only at night at the time of the full moon.
I ain't afraid of ridin' out by myself at night. If it's for the
gooda the book.
CLOUD DANCING (not sure it's a good idea)
It has been many winters since I have seen this dance myself.
Well, you know, we have our dances too. I'll show you one Michaela
She starts to do the steps by herself.
It's called a waltz. And it goes like this -- one, two, three --
She realizes that he's not getting an accurate picture of it.
DOROTHY (a little laugh)
I mean, we don't do the dance alone. It's -- men and women dance
He has no way of knowing this means actually touching, so he stands
up and tries to follow her steps.
One, two, three ..
There is a sexual tension between them which Cloud Dancing recognizes
but would not consider acting on -- for his own integrity as well
as hers. Dorothy is aware of it on an unconscious level only. She
chatters on, cheerily, to keep herself from having to consider this
Yes. That's it. Well, they do it as partners -- close to each other.
But that's the right step.
He moves closer to her. They don't touch, but except for that one
minor detail, they are dancing together.
Cloud Dancing is clumsy with it. It seems so simple, unless you've
never done it before in your life.
One, two, three --
One, two, three (he stumbles)
Try not to look at your feet. Just feel the rhythm. One, two, three
His eyes are locked on his feet.
One, two, three --
He's still very clumsy with it. She laughs with delight at his progress.
See? You're gettin' it already.
One, two, three, one, two, three ...
They're still clumsy, but they keep at it with increasing energy.
As Cloud Dancing counts "one, two, three, one, two, three"
he begins to laugh.
Camera pulls back as Dorothy and Cloud Dancing One-Two-Three across
the scrub-brush, laughing, tripping, starting over, having a wonderful
EXT. MATTHEW'S HOMESTEAD - CLOSE ON EMMA ON PORCH - DAY THREE
Emma is sitting on the porch. She is re-reading her letter from
Gilda St. Clair.
ANGLE - MATTHEW
rides up. She stands up quickly, nervous about what she needs to
say to him. He's a little nervous too, but also, in a way, relieved.
It's time for them to talk. He knows that.
I hope you don't mind me comin' out. Somethin' came up -- I wanted
to talk to you about.
Yeah, I need to talk to you, too.
This is difficult for Emma. She tries to be courageous but the tears
form in her eyes as she looks at Matthew and tells him:
You remember Gilda St. Clair? The singer?
Matthew has a rueful smile.
Who could forget her?
She wrote me a letter.
She hands him the program. He looks at it as she talks.
She offered me a job.
Matthew looks up, surprised. Emma's enthusiasm is starting to win
out over her discomfort.
Travelin' with her, to make dresses 'n such.
He's thrilled for her, but also completely taken aback. She misinterprets
his stunned silence.
The thing is -- about gettin' married --
That's what I was gonna talk to you about.
They both want to say it, but neither can quite do it.
Oh Matthew -- I wanna take that job.
Matthew is quiet, sweet, understanding, and, of course, a little
grateful he's off the hook. But the prevailing feeling is happiness
I think that's wonderful, Emma.
She doesn't even know what to say from there. They're still awkward
with each other, not knowing whether to hug or not.
I don't know hot to tell you all you've done for me -- when I decided
to leave Hank's -- 'n nobody wanted to accept me -- as somethin'
different than what they thought I was --
He moves to her, puts his arms around her.
I didn't look at it as helpin' ya, Emma. I just liked bein' around
ya. And the more I was around ya, the better I felt.
She pulls away, slightly to look at him in the face.
EMMA (simple, but deeply felt)
Guess ya don't hafta be married to be friends.
She puts her head on his chest and he holds her tighter.
I'll send you postcards -- from all over the world.
This is so excitin' for ya.
They stand quietly holding each other a moment. Then Matthew breaks
the moment, gently pulls away, starts to walk with her to the wagon.
There is one favor I'd like ta ask ya, before ya leave.
She looks at him, curious.
Emma, would you do me the great honor of attending the Sweetheart's
Dance with me.
EMMA (with a big smile)
I would love to.
As they arrive at the wagon, we:
INT HOMESTEAD - NIGHT THREE - ESTABLISHING
Mike is carrying Katie. The lamps have ben lit in the main room.
We see Sully come quietly down the staircase. He stops, just out
of Mike's sight, watching her for a moment.
Well, Katie, what do you say? What shell we leave behind?
Katie makes a gurgley sound at her.
Yes, I'd like to take it all, too, but we can't.
Mike moves over to an heirloom china figure and picks it up. She
studies every inch of it, memorizing it.
Will you remember any of this, Katie? I -- I'm afraid you won't.
Sully is moved by the realization of the sacrifice Mike is making.
MIKE (to Katie)
But I will tell you everything about it when you're old enough to
Play Sully's reaction as well as Mike's touching moment with Katie.
MIKE (holding Katie close, talking mostly to herself)
I'll remember it for you.
MOVE IN ON MIKE AND KATIE and ..
EXT. HOMESTEAD - DAY
Sully has hitched the horses up. He leaves the wagon in the road
as he goes back inside to let Mike know he's ready.
INT. HOMESTEAD - DAY
As Sully comes in.
Sully walks toward the stairs but is stopped by something sitting
on the table.
ANGLE - ON BRIAN'S GEOLOGY PROJECT
The salt-dough map has been completed and painted. It looks remarkably
like the Red Rocks formation.
drawn to the model for some reason he can't quite fathom. He picks
up the drawing Brian made. Mike comes down the stairs. She and Katie
are dressed to go to town with him. He's recognizing something on
a very deep level. Brian comes charging down the stairs, stepping
all over the moment.
Didja see my project, Sully? Do ya like it?
Brian takes his project and starts out the door.
I'm gonna walk to school, Ma. Don't wanna take any chances of this
All right. See you after school.
Brian's out the door.
Before we go to town, there's somethin' I need to do.
She looks at him questioningly, but he's not talking. He opens the
door for her and Katie and they start out.
EXT. GRACE'S CAFE - DAY FOUR
Becky is having a cup of coffee. Colleen comes in, sees her, decides
to go over and talk to her. Both girls are happy to see each other,
want to have things okay between them, but not sure how the other
feels. Therefore there is a tentative quality to their conversation
Hi, Colleen. You -- wanna have breakfast with me?
Colleen sits down. There's a small beat of silence, but the awkwardness
How're things at school?
Good. I'll be goin' back right after the dance. (Beat). How're things
Good. (Beat, casual). Anybody asked ya to the dance yet?
COLLEEN (as if she had completely forgotten about the dance)
Oh, no. (Beat, not even looking at Becky)
Becky shakes her head no.
BECKY (no self pity)
I don't know if I'll go. It's no fun to go by yourself.
Colleen looks at her, surprised.
You don't have to go by yourself.
I'm tired of goin' with my brothers.
BECKY (that reminds her)
Remember when we used to go to the socials together?
'Course I do.
They're back on familiar, solid ground.
ANGLE - ANDREW
arriving at the Cafe. He's carrying one long stem rose. He looks
around. He sees:
HIS POINT OF VIEW
Becky and Colleen are laughing and reminiscing. They're having a
terrific time together.
who smiles and slips quietly away, unseen by the girls.
EXT. COLORADO SPRINGS - NEAR THE SCHOOL HOUSE - DAY FOUR
Brian is still carrying his science project to class. He's practising
his speech again.
"You hafta say you'll go to the dance with me, Sara, 'cause
-- 'cause there's nobody else I would ever want to take."
I'd love to Brian.
Brian turns, startled, to see Sara right behind him. He's stunned.
I been walkin' behind you since Snow Creek. You were so busy askin'
me to the dance, you never even noticed me.
BRIAN (not trusting his own ears)
Did you say --
I'd love to.
He's thrilled beyond words. So she helps move the conversation along.
Is that the geology project you were gonna show me?
He puts it down so they can both look at it. As he points out various
landmarks, CAMERA MOVES IN on the map.
This is where we found the hawk. She couldn't fly an' if we'da left
her there, she'da been eaten by mountain lions.
Sara shudders at the thought. We carry Brian's lines over as we:
MATCH DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. RED ROCK FORMATION - DAY FOUR - (STOCK)
The actual Red Rocks.
Sully was attacked by the hawk's mate. It was excitin'. Lots of
excitin' things happen out there. It's my fav'rite place.
ANGLE ON THE SULLY WAGON
Sully and Mike (carrying Katie) pull up to the red rocks. Sully
stops the wagon and looks at the formation a moment.
Sometimes I forget how beautiful these rock formations are.
Somethin' Brian said got me to thinkin'. If I'm gonna fight, it
oughtta be this land I'm fightin' for. (Beat). This is our home.
This is where we became a fam'ly. This is where Katie was born.
(Small beat, turning to Katie). Reckon she'd wanta know why we pulled
up roots and went off someplace else when we had this all along.
MIKE (almost not daring to hope)
You're -- turning down the Yellowstone job?
Seems to me this is as uninhabitable, unfit for farmin' and totally
useless as Yellowstone.
She looks at him. What the devil is he saying?
SULLY (a grin)
No reason Congress wouldn't make it a national park, too.
Mike is so happy.
He puts his arms around her and Katie. Mike and Sully kiss and enjoy
the wondrous feeling of being one, together. Sully breaks the moment
with a quiet, seemingly serious question.
There is one thing I have to ask you.
She looks at him curious.
You -- feel like goin' to the Sweetheart's Dance with me.
Her happiness is palpable. She snuggles into his arms again and
as the CAMERA MOVES OUT, we HEAR the STRAINS of the MUSIC of the
Sweetheart's Dance as we:
EXT. WATER TOWER - NIGHT FIVE
The entire town has turned out for the Sweetheart's Dance.
DANCE ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
And this dance will be ladies' choice. Ladies' choice.
We move into a montage sequence featuring:
SARA -- taking Brian by the hand to the dance floor.
LOREN -- smiling as an older, not terribly attractive woman approaches.
He's going to be generous and dance with her, even though she's
so plain. She passes him by and asks Andrew. Loren scowls.
EMMA AND MATTHEW
feeling the bittersweet feeling of happy endings that are different
from what you thought they would be.
BECKY AND COLLEEN
are sitting, talking. Andrew dances by with the older woman. She's
much bigger than he is and is practically flinging him around the
floor. He looks over at Becky and Colleen who start to laugh at
his discomfort. He's gesturing for one of them to cut in. They respond
by getting up and ... dancing with each other.
Andrew flies out of frame with his partner.
INTERCUT, NOW WITH:
EXT. AT THE RESERVATION - NIGHT FIVE
Dorothy and Cloud Dancing are waltzing. He's still looking at his
feet. But the movement is indeed becoming a bit more fluid. They
still aren't touching.
Then, tentatively at first, and then with assurance, Dorothy reaches
out and puts one hand on his shoulder, the other in his hand. He
gingerly puts his arm around her waist.
AT THE WATER TOWER
Sully and Mike, in their own world, dancing together. CAMERA MOVES
IN .. And we:
FREEZE FRAME AND FADE OUT