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BEFORE THE DAWN

Written by Julie Henderson / Directed by Bethany Rooney

TEASER
FADE IN:
EXT. TOWN - DAY ONE - APRIL 1872
It's a crisp spring morning, MIKE and SULLY ride the wagon into town toward the telegraph office. Mike sits close to Sully, outlining her plans for the day.
MIKE
Oh, don't forget I invited Matthew to join us for supper tonight.
SULLY
I might be late. I'm workin' out at Preston's homestead most of the day and I wanna get as much done as I can while he's gone.
MIKE
We won't start until you get there.
Sully smiles.
SULLY
I'll do my best to be on time.
Sully gives Mike a quick kiss. The moment is broken when they see:

+TELEGRAPH OFFICE
where several PASSENGERS mill about outside. A MAN, dressed for traveling, knocks and peers through the darkened ticket window. When there is no reply, he turns to the crowd, disgruntled. TOWNSPEOPLE, with packages to mail, wait impatiently for the office to open.

+MIKE AND SULLY
look on puzzled.
MIKE
I wonder where Horace is?
Sully shrugs casually and drives the wagon around the corner toward the General Store.

INT. BOARDING HOUSE - DAY ONE
HORACE stands in front of the dresser mirror and pulls on his Sunday best jacket. He leans in close to the mirror and adjusts his tie, making sure it's exactly even and straight.
He steps back to survey himself and gives his hair one last swipe with the comb. He sets the comb down, then stares at his reflection, his expression peaceful and serene.

EXT. GENERAL STORE - DAY ONE
Sully helps Mike down from the wagon as LOREN places apples in the display bin.
SULLY
Afternoon, Loren.
LOREN
Sully. Dr. Mike.
SULLY
You got those brass hinges I ordered?
LOREN
I was expectin' them this mornin', but Horace ain't opened up yet.
(a beat, frustrated)
Second time this week he's been late.

INT. BOARDING HOUSE - DAY ONE
Horace sits on the bed, still and silent. He removes a set of papers from his jacket pocket, quickly signs them and places them on the night stand in front of a photograph of himself, Myra and Samantha with her doll, taken at Christmas. Horace caresses the precious images a moment, before turning away.
He takes one of the two bottles of laudanum from the night stand.

+CLOSE ON THE LAUDANUM BOTTLE LABEL HELD IN HIS HAND.

+RESUME
as Horace considers the bottle a long moment.

INT. GENERAL STORE - DAY ONE
Mike and Sully stand by the counter with their purchases. The REVEREND sits beside the counter while ANDREW reads the paper.
ANDREW
Says here the Courrier brothers were convicted for shooting that bank guard.
Loren brings a box of nails over to the counter.
LOREN
Oughta lock 'em up and throw away the key, if you ask me.
JAKE walks in.
JAKE
Where's Horace? I got three telegrams to send.
Loren shakes his head.
LOREN
Ain't seen him since yesterday.
JAKE
He's got people lined up waitin' for him. And the train's just pullin' in.
The Reverend reacts, surprised.
REVEREND
It's not like Horace to neglect his duties.
MIKE
You're right Reverend, he's always so conscientious.
ANDREW
Perhaps, he's overslept?
JAKE
Well, maybe somebody oughta wake him up.

INT. BOARDING HOUSE HALLWAY - DAY ONE
Mike knocks on Horace's door.
MIKE
Horace?
No answer. Sully knocks louder.
SULLY
Horace. You in there?
Mike and Sully exchange a look -- should they go inside? Mike nods.
MIKE
Try the door.
Sully tries the door knob. He opens the door and they see Horace seemingly asleep on the bed.
MIKE
Horace?
He doesn't stir.

INT. BOARDING HOUSE - DAY ONE
Mike walks over to the bed and gently shakes him. No response.
MIKE
Horace? Can you hear me?
Mike quickly feels for a fever. Normal. She checks his pupils then tries to shake him awake. Nothing.
Mike looks to Sully, confused by Horace's unconscious state. Sully looks around the room for clues. He sees:

+THE DIVORCE PAPERS
on the bedside table.

+RESUME
Sully picks up the papers and quickly scans them.
SULLY
(reading)
Divorce decree.
MIKE
What?
He drops the papers and picks up the empty laudanum bottles, then hands one to Mike. She looks down at the empty bottle then back to Sully.
MIKE
Laudanum.
A beat, as the urgency of the situation registers. She tosses the bottle aside, then slaps Horace hard on the face.
MIKE
Horace! Wake up!
Mike tries to lift him. Sully moves swiftly, helping her pull Horace to a sitting position. Mike raises his head.
MIKE
(urgent)
Horace, you have to wake up now!
No response. Horace's head slumps forward. Mike looks desperately to Sully.
MIKE
If we can't revive him, he'll die.
Sully reacts quickly. He lifts Horace into a fireman's hold and carries him towards the door. OFF Mike, desperately concerned for Horace's life as we:
FADE OUT.
END OF TEASER

ACT ONE
FADE IN:
INT. CLINIC - DAY ONE
Mike and Andrew rapidly work over Horace. Mike leans over Horace's chest with the stethoscope. She concentrates, counting his breaths. Andrew operates the stomach pump.
MIKE
Only nine breaths per minute.
Andrew removes the stomach pump tube from Horace's mouth.
ANDREW
His stomach's empty.
MIKE
Horace, wake up.
No response. Mike leans in and listens again.
MIKE
(alarmed)
His respiration's falling.
Andrew takes this in, thinking quickly.
ANDREW
Perhaps a stimulant?
MIKE
Atrophine.
Mike hastily retrieves the hypodermic and atrophine from the medicine cabinet, preparing the injection.
Andrew rolls up Horace's sleeve, spraying his arm with carbolic acid. Mike returns with the hypodermic.
MIKE
A 1/20th grain solution.
ANDREW
That much?
MIKE
He took two bottles of laudanum.
Andrew nods grimly. Mike injects Horace, then grabs her stethoscope and listens for the slightest change.
MIKE
(determined)
Keep breathing Horace.
(to Andrew)
Check his pupils.
Andrew checks Horace's pupils. Mike looks up.
ANDREW
Contracted -- the size of pinpoints.
Mike reacts -- time is running out. What else? She looks to the door, an idea forming. She opens the door and calls to Sully.
MIKE
Sully, please. We need your help.
Sully enters.
MIKE
Please, help me get him on his feet.
As, Sully and Andrew swiftly shoulder Horace to his feet, Horace GROANS. They stop.
MIKE
Horace, can you hear me?
He doesn't answer.
MIKE
(now, more determined)
Walk him around... keep him moving.
Sully and Andrew begin to walk Horace around the room. Mike follows intently, unwilling to let Horace slip away.

EXT. CLINIC - DAY ONE
The Reverend, Jake, MATTHEW, GRACE and ROBERT E talk softly outside the clinic waiting for news. Loren stands to the side, alone with his thoughts. They look up as Mike and Sully come out and gather around her.
MIKE
He's out of danger.
GRACE
Thank God.
Relief registers on their faces, but slowly gives way to confusion.
ROBERT E
Is it true, Dr. Mike, did he try to kill himself?
MIKE
Robert E, we can't be certain of that.
(a beat)
He may have taken the laudanum by accident.
Everyone MURMURS various opinions -- agreement, doubt. They want to believe her.
JAKE
Downin' two bottles of laudanum's no accident, Dr. Mike.
The crowd quiets.
REVEREND
He did miss the last couple of Sunday services...
GRACE
He hasn't come 'round the cafe much lately...
ROBERT E
Ain't been to a town meetin' in months...
JAKE
Found plenty of time for drinkin' at the Gold Nugget.
Matthew reacts, surprised.
MATTHEW
Horace has been drinkin'?
Loren, quiet until now, steps forward.
LOREN
(to Sully)
You say you found them divorce papers right next to him?
SULLY
'Fraid so.
Loren knows the truth and looks to Mike for confirmation. She can't deny the evidence, as the pieces fall into place.
MIKE
He's obviously been feeling terribly upset... for a long while...
(anguished)
And I didn't see it...
No one did. They all look away, feeling guilty and somehow responsible.

INT. RECOVERY ROOM - DAY ONE
Mike comes in while Andrew checks Horace's breathing. He stands up, satisfied with what he's heard.
ANDREW
Fifteen breaths per minute.
MIKE
That's good -- well within the normal range.
Mike looks up at the KNOCK on the door. The Reverend enters.
REVEREND
Dr. Mike?
MIKE
Yes, Reverend. Come in.
REVEREND
I thought I might sit with Horace.
MIKE
Certainly, there's a chair beside the bed.
Mike guides the Reverend to the chair and he sits down. He quietly places his bible on the bed beside Horace.
ANDREW
(to Mike)
May I speak to you outside?
MIKE
Of course.
Mike follows Andrew onto the balcony.

EXT. BALCONY - DAY ONE
Andrew takes in Mike's fatigue and tension and proceeds cautiously.
ANDREW
Michaela, have you considered what you're going to do when Horace wakes up?
MIKE
Honestly, I haven't been able to think beyond this moment.
ANDREW
He'll need full-time psychiatric care... I'd be happy to make the inquiries for you.
MIKE
Inquiries?
ANDREW
Yes, at sanatoriums.
Mike is startled. She never considered sending him away.
ANDREW
Surely you can see, he's a classic case -- impulsive insanity.
MIKE
That's not a definitive diagnosis.
ANDREW
(backing off)
Well, no, but you can't deny that he tried to take his own life.
Mike can't deny it, but won't accept sending him away.
MIKE
I don't believe Horace could afford a private sanatorium.
ANDREW
Perhaps a public asylum?
MIKE
Absolutely not.
A beat, Mike sees that Andrew is only trying to help.
MIKE
In Boston, I interned at an asylum... People crowded together, held in restraints, medicated beyond consciousness.
She turns away, troubled by the memories.
MIKE
No. What Horace needs is to be with the people who know him and love him. We'll take care of him.
REVEREND (O.S.)
Dr. Mike!

INT. RECOVERY ROOM - DAY ONE
Mike and Andrew hurry into the recovery room.
REVEREND
I think he's wakin' up.
The Reverend stands as Mike moves past him to Horace's bedside.
MIKE
Horace?
Horace is groggy but awake. Mike looks down at him.
MIKE
You'll feel groggy for awhile and may have a slight headache, but you're going to recover.
Horace turns, meets her gaze for the first time.
HORACE
Why'd you have to ruin it?
OFF Mike's stricken expression.

INT. CLINIC - NIGHT ONE
Sully is adding wood to the stove as Mike comes in from upstairs.
MIKE
Katie's asleep.
Mike retrieves the blood pressure device from the cabinet. Sully gets up and walks over to her.
MIKE
I should get back to Horace.
SULLY
Andrew's with him.
Sensing her exhaustion, Sully guides her to the chair and kneels in front of her. A beat, then:
MIKE
He said I ruined it.
(unbelieving)
He wanted to die.
SULLY
Yeah.
Sully nods, understanding.
MIKE
That's so difficult to believe... And now, he won't talk to anyone, just stares at the wall.
( beat)
I don't know how to help him.
SULLY
You done what you could -- and he's alive.
MIKE
But, how do I keep him alive?
SULLY
Maybe more doctorin's not the answer.
MIKE
I can't stand by and simply do nothing.
SULLY
That's not what I'm sayin'... You fixed what he did to himself, but maybe you can't fix why he did it.
Mike nods, taking this in. Frustrated, she looks down at the medical books and journals on her desk and she sees the divorce papers. She picks them up. A beat, considering, then she turns back to Sully, with renewed determination:
MIKE
Perhaps I can't help him, but I know someone who can.

EXT. TRAIN STATION - DAY TWO
MYRA, now sophisticated and stylish, exits the train, a four-year old SAMANTHA at her side. Samantha holds a treasured doll in her hand. Myra scans the crowd, and sees:
+MIKE
waiting on the platform. The women quickly close the distance between them, embracing warmly. After a moment, they draw apart:
MIKE
It's good to see you, Myra.
MYRA
You too, Dr. Mike.
MIKE
How was your trip?
MYRA
We've been on the train two days, but Samantha was wonderful.
Mike turns to Samantha, smiles warmly and smooths the young girl's curls.
MIKE
Samantha, what a big girl you are now.
Samantha holds her doll out for Mike to greet.
MIKE
And, who's this?
SAMANTHA
Sarah -- Papa gave her to me for Christmas.
Mike takes the doll's hand.
MIKE
It's a pleasure to meet you, Sarah.
Satisfied, Samantha hugs her doll to her chest and draws closer to her mother. Mike smiles and turns back to Myra.
MIKE
She's beautiful, Myra.
Myra nods her thanks, then dismisses all pretense of small talk:
MYRA
How is he, Dr. Mike?
Mike smiles and puts her arm around Myra's shoulder.
MIKE
(full of hope)
He'll be better now that you're here.

INT. CLINIC - DAY TWO
Andrew is selecting a medical journal from Mike's desk, when Mike, Myra and Samantha, holding Myra's hand, enter. Andrew turns around.
ANDREW
Oh, Michaela, I was just getting another journal. Horace is sleeping.
Mike nods, then makes introductions.
MIKE
Myra, you remember Dr. Cook.
ANDREW
Good to see you again.
Andrew extends his hand to Myra. She shakes it firmly.
MYRA
Thank you for helpin' my husband.
Andrew nods. Myra looks to Mike, the moment of truth has arrived. Myra takes a deep breath.
MYRA
I guess I should go up and see him now.
Myra looks down at Samantha, still holding her hand, then back to Mike.
MIKE
You go on. I'll watch Samantha.
MYRA
You sure? You think it's alright for me to see him by myself?
Mike avoids her gaze not yet willing to tell her about the divorce papers.
MYRA
Last time I saw him we were talkin' 'bout gettin' a divorce.
MIKE
Of course he wants to see you.
Andrew, sensing Myra's nervousness, steps in:
ANDREW
You should both go. I'll stay here with Samantha.
Andrew kneels down, eye to eye with Samantha, and shakes her hand.
ANDREW
Hello Samantha, I'm Andrew.
Andrew takes his stethoscope out of his pocket.
ANDREW
Have you ever heard your heartbeat?
Samantha shrugs, shyly. Andrew puts the stethoscope to Samantha's chest and allows her to listen. Andrew smiles, then looks up to Myra.
ANDREW
We'll be fine.
MYRA
Thank you.
(to Samantha)
I'll be back in just a little while, honey.
Samantha nods. Myra looks to Mike -- let's go. Mike nods, then leads the way out the door to the recovery room.

INT. RECOVERY ROOM - DAY TWO
Horace is asleep. Mike and Myra quietly enter the room. Mike moves to the bed. Myra hesitates, as the reality of what Horace has done sinks in. A beat, then Myra quickly moves to the chair beside Horace.
MIKE
Horace, there's someone here to see you.
Myra takes his hand in hers and tenderly kisses his fingers.
MYRA
(softly)
Horace? Horace... it's Myra.
Horace slowly opens his eyes.
HORACE
Myra?
MYRA
Yes, Horace, it's me.
Myra squeezes his hand and leans closer. Horace focuses on her face -- she is real.
HORACE
Myra.
Horace pulls her hand close to his heart, holding tightly to her lifeline. Myra looks to Mike, concerned this may be more than she can handle. Mike puts a comforting hand on Horace's shoulder.
MIKE
Horace, don't try to talk. Just rest now.
MYRA
Yes, just rest. Everything's gonna be alright.
Horace closes his eyes and drifts back to sleep. Myra looks up to Mike who smiles, reassuringly. OFF Mike, fully confident that Myra is exactly the medicine Horace needs.
FADE OUT.
END OF ACT ONE

ACT TWO
FADE IN:
EXT. CAFE - DAY TWO
Grace pours coffee as Jake, HANK, Loren and Robert E talk intently.
LOREN
Now, that Myra's back he'll be feelin' better.
ROBERT E
She'll have him back to his old self in no time.
JAKE
How's she gonna help him? When it's her leavin' that got him in this mess.
GRACE
Shhhh..
Grace nudges Jake, and they looks up to see:

+MYRA AND MIKE
carrying a medical book, approach the table. Nothing's changed. Myra's heard worse -- and from most of them.

+RESUME
as Mike, concerned for Myra's feelings, tries to guide her to another table. Hank quickly stands and pulls out a chair:
HANK
(caring)
Myra, come sit over here.
Myra looks to Mike, who shrugs. Myra pulls herself up a little straighter and walks to the table.
MYRA
Hey, everybody.
Everyone ad-libs "hellos" to Myra and Dr. Mike. Myra sits down. Mike sits beside her. The reunion is awkward. No one speaks, until Grace breaks the ice:
GRACE
Myra, I'm so sorry 'bout Horace.
HANK
Now, don't go blamin' her.
Grace shoots Hank a look:
GRACE
Who said anythin' 'bout blamin' her?
LOREN
Yeah, it coulda been a lot a things 'sides the divorce papers.
Everyone looks to Loren, he's put his foot in it:
MYRA
What d'ya mean, the divorce papers?
Mike tries to intervene:
MIKE
Myra, well, the truth is...
Mike hesitates, not wanting to hurt Myra.
JAKE
-- Truth is found 'em right next to the empty laudanum bottles.
Shocked, Myra looks to Mike.
MIKE
I'm sorry, Myra.
Myra's worst fears are realized.
MYRA
No...
MIKE
You couldn't have known.
MYRA
But he seemed alright at Christmas. We agreed to the divorce. I didn't know...
Mike empathizes, none of them knew.
MIKE
There's no point in blaming ourselves for what we didn't know or didn't do. What we need to concentrate on now is making Horace well.
MYRA
How do we do that, Dr. Mike?
MIKE
I believe Horace is suffering from a condition called melancholia... and there are treatments.
MYRA
What kinda treatments?
MIKE
Well, first, someone will have to stay with him at all times.
MYRA
I can do that.
ROBERT E
We'll help you.
LOREN
We sure will.
MYRA
But, what about the treatments?
MIKE
Dr. Greisinger, the foremost expert on melancholia, recommends a program of stimulation.
GRACE
Stimulation?
MIKE
Yes, to counter-act the effects of the melancholia... Horace won't have time to think about feeling sad, if we keep him busy with a regimen of revitalizing activities.
MYRA
Like what?
MIKE
Long walks and rides, hot and cold baths, games and music.
HANK
Music?
MIKE
Music can be especially helpful in brightening one's mood.
JAKE
Don't see how music's gonna fix what's wrong with Horace.
MIKE
I know it sounds odd, but if you all agree to assist me, I believe we can help Horace through this difficult time.
Everyone except Jake nods, agreeing to do whatever they can.
LOREN
'Course, we'll help.
Loren shoots Jake a look, urging him to join in. Jake shrugs.
Mike takes Myra's hand.
MIKE
And your being here with Horace is going to be the best medicine of all.
Myra nods purposefully at Mike. She's nervous, but willing to do whatever it takes to make Horace well.

INT. RECOVERY ROOM - DAY TWO
The Reverend sits beside Horace, who's sleeping. Myra comes in carrying a tray of food from Grace's.
MYRA
It's me, Reverend. I brought Horace somethin' to eat.
Myra sets the tray on the table beside the bed.
REVEREND
I'm sure he'll like that.
The Reverend stands, sensing her nervousness at being alone with Horace.
MYRA
Reverend?
REVEREND
Yes.
MYRA
I wanna tell you how sorry I am 'bout your eyesight.
REVEREND
Thank you Myra.
Myra nods, then looks down at Horace. In the long silence, the Reverend senses Myra's discomfort.
REVEREND
I'll leave you now.
He turns to go, but Myra reaches out, stopping him.
MYRA
Oh, don't go.
The Reverend squeezes her hand.
REVEREND
You'll be fine, Myra.
Myra watches the Reverend leave. She turns back to Horace, surprised to see him fully awake and watching her.
MYRA
Hey there. You're awake.
Myra sits down and uncovers the bowl of soup on the tray, preparing to feed him.
MYRA
You hungry? I brought you some bean soup from Grace's.
Myra dips the spoon in the soup and holds it out for him. He doesn't take it.
MYRA
Dr. Mike says you gotta get your strength back.
He makes no move to take it.
HORACE
Why'd you come?
Myra sets the soup back on the tray. She sits back, composes herself, knowing her next words are all important.
MYRA
'Cause I care about you.
Not the answer he wanted to hear.
HORACE
You can go back to St. Louis. I'm alright.
MYRA
(gently)
Horace, you're not alright. That's why I'm here.
HORACE
What about your job?
A beat, then:
MYRA
The only thing that matters to me now is gettin' you well. Dr. Mike says that if you follow your treatments you're gonna feel better real soon.
HORACE
Treatments?
MYRA
Um hmm. She says plenty of exercise and fresh air'll be good for you...
(marshalling her enthusiasm)
It could be fun. You and me and Samantha takin' long walks in the woods, havin' picnics by the creek, an' maybe we could even go swimmin'. Samantha loves splashin' in the water.
Myra stops, realizing that Horace hasn't answered.
MYRA
That is, if ya want to?
He searches her eyes and sees the depth of her commitment.
HORACE
Sure.
Myra smiles and picks up the bowl of soup, dips a spoonful and holds it out for him. Horace looks at her a moment, then nods and begins to eat.

INT. ANDREW'S OFFICE - DAY THREE
CLOSE ON HORACE
strapped into the Zander exercise machine, sweating and pedaling hard. The blood pressure device is attached to his arm.

+PULL BACK TO REVEAL
Mike and Andrew, standing nearby, watching Horace. Mike checks her watch.
ANDREW
(quietly)
Do you really think the exerciser will be able to relieve his symptoms?
MIKE
I believe it can. Dr. Greisinger cited at least four cases where patients reported marked improvement in appetite and mood following exercise sessions.
Mike checks her watch again, then looks up at Horace.
MIKE
Excellent, Horace... You may stop now.
He stops pedalling, exhausted. Mike reads the blood pressure gauge. She looks up pleased.
MIKE
Your blood pressure is in the normal range for your level of exertion. You're progressing wonderfully.
Horace looks down, not meeting her gaze.
MIKE
*What's wrong? Please. You can tell me.
He looks at her, considering a long moment, then:
HORACE
(a little ashamed)
I don't think it's workin'.
Mike had hoped for more, but covers quickly.
MIKE
Well, that's alright. We're just beginning the treatments. It's probably much too early to expect measurable results.
(to Andrew)
Isn't that correct, Andrew?
ANDREW
(hedging)
Well, yes, it is likely that the melancholia will take time to subside.
MIKE
Exactly.
She turns to Horace, her optimism shining brightly for him to see.

EXT. SPRINGS CHATEAU - SPRINGS - DAY FOUR
It's early morning. The spa is empty except for Horace, Loren, and Jake who sit chest-deep in the water. Sweat pours from their long-john clad bodies - they're boiling like plump lobsters.
LOREN
Ahh, what a grand mornin' to be outside enjoyin' the gifts of mother nature.
Loren looks to Horace and Jake. Silence.
JAKE
(wiping his brow)
How much longer we gotta sit in here?
Loren turns to Horace.
LOREN
You feelin' "stimulated" yet Horace?
HORACE
I'm feelin' kinda hot.
LOREN
Hot's good. Definitely a good sign. Might be even better if you put your whole body in the water?
Horace sinks down, the water now up to his neck. Loren shoots a look to Jake. He sinks deeper. The men sit in silence, suffering in the steaming water.
JAKE
I've had it.
Jake starts to get up, but Loren shakes his head.
LOREN
Nobody's leaving here, 'til Horace says he's feelin' better.
(to Horace)
You feeling better?
Horace considers the question. He has no ready answer. Frustrated and overheated, Jake erupts:
JAKE
We're wastin' our time. He ain't no better.
Loren jumps up.
LOREN
(to Horace)
Wait here.
Then, Loren drags Jake out of the spa and away from Horace's earshot.
LOREN
What's the matter with you? You know he's sick.
JAKE
He ain't sick. He's crazy.
LOREN
He's no crazier than you or me.
JAKE
Speak for yourself.
LOREN
(a beat)
I am.
Jake reacts, startled.
LOREN
When I had my stroke, I came close to endin' it. And Dr. Mike, well, let's just say she helped me see there was somebody that cared 'bout me livin'... And I aim to help Horace, the same way.
Loren looks at Jake, and sees he's not getting through to him.
LOREN
When a man gives up on livin', it don't matter what he uses, a gun, a rope...
(beat)
... a whiskey bottle.
Loren's words land heavily on Jake. Loren turns and walks back to the spa.

+THE SPA
Horace looks up as Loren climbs back into the springs.
LOREN
You're lookin' better already, Horace. What do you think, a few more minutes?
Horace shrugs.
JAKE (O.S)
Couldn't hurt.
Loren and Horace look up to see Jake climbing back into the spa. Loren and Jake trade a look -- both glad to be there for Horace.

INT. HOMESTEAD - DAY FIVE
Mike and Myra remove instruments from a box on the table (tambourine, cymbal, triangle, and a bell). Myra picks up the tambourine.
MYRA
I don't know, Dr. Mike. I don't see how singin' a few songs can help Horace.
Mike stops and faces Myra.
MIKE
I know it sounds silly, but --
MYRA
We've tried everythin' and there's no change.
MIKE
Maybe this is the one thing that'll make a difference.
MYRA
What if we try it and it don't work? What do we do then?
The alternative is unacceptable. Mike dismisses the thought, too painful to even consider.
MYRA
What, Dr. Mike?
Mike doesn't want to say it.
MYRA
(insistent)
Tell me.
MIKE
There are doctors who recommend a... sanatorium.
MYRA
(stunned)
You mean an asylum.
Mike shakes her head, dismissing the thought.
MIKE
We shouldn't be discussing this now. It's unnecessary and far too premature for us even to consider. It won't come to that.
MYRA
He ain't goin' away.
Myra looks at the tambourine in her hand, then back to Mike.
MYRA
(resolved)
I'll never let that happen.

EXT. HOMESTEAD PORCH - DAY FIVE
EVERYONE (O.S.)
Lou, Lou, skip to my Lou;
We pan down to the porch and see Mike, Sully (holding Katie), Horace, Samantha (note: Samantha sits between Myra and Horace), and Myra sit on the porch steps, instruments in hand, in the middle of singing a rousing, jaunty rendition of "Skip to My Lou". BRIAN accompanies them on the harmonica.
EVERYONE
(singing)
Lou, Lou, skip to my Lou;
Mike and Myra sing with exceptional vigor, but their faces are tight and drawn as they watch Horace sing, looking for the slightest sign of improvement.
EVERYONE
(singing)
Lou, Lou, skip to my Lou;
Samantha claps her hands and sings gayly.
Horace stops singing, unable to keep up the pretense any longer. Mike and Myra trade a concerned look, but continue singing the song.
EVERYONE
(singing)
Skip to my Lou, my darling.
As the song ends, Samantha jumps, clapping her hands. She turns to Horace with a sunny expectant smile.
SAMANTHA
Oh, Papa, wasn't that fun?
Horace would give anything to offer his daughter a genuine smile, but can't pull it off. There's an awkward silence before Horace stands up:
HORACE
(to Samantha)
I'm sorry, honey. Papa's not much fun today.
He turns away and walks around to the side of the house. Samantha quickly follows. Myra goes after her.
Mike trades a concerned look with Sully

+AROUND THE CORNER OF THE HOMESTEAD
Horace turns around when he hears Samantha approach.
SAMANTHA
What's wrong Papa?
Horace doesn't know what to say, how to tell her what's wrong. He kneels down, struggling to find the words.
HORACE
Sometimes people just stop havin' fun, no matter how much they want to, they can't...
Horace looks up, frustrated, and sees Myra quietly watching them. He turns back to Samantha.
HORACE
... but your Papa never wants to stop you from havin' fun... So, you go on, honey, sing your song again.
SAMANTHA
(singing softly)
Lou, Lou, skip to my Lou; Lou, Lou, skip to my Lou; Skip to my Lou, my darlin'.

+CLOSE ON MYRA
her heart breaking as she sadly watches her daughter quietly serenade her father.

EXT. CAFE - DAY SIX
Mike and Horace come into the cafe after a brisk walk. They sit at a table.
MIKE
That was excellent, Horace -- we covered almost two miles. Now, we need to follow up with a robust meal.
Horace nods quietly. Myra comes over to their table. She smiles bravely, taking a deep breath, then:
MYRA
I got good news.
MIKE
What is it?
Myra sits down next to Horace. She takes his hands in hers.
MYRA
I quit my job... I'm stayin'.
Mike and Horace are taken aback by her news.
HORACE
Really? You're stayin?
MYRA
That's right.
HORACE
For good?
A beat as Myra takes in Horace's hopeful expression.
MYRA
That's a nice way a puttin' it, Horace -- for good.
Myra glances to Mike, knowing she's not completely convinced.
MIKE
Myra, this is... wonderful.
MYRA
(picking up on Mike's hesitation)
Now, I know this may seem sudden, but I... I thought it through and... it's what I want.
Horace brightens slightly -- these are the words he's been waiting months to hear.
HORACE
Does this mean you and me can go home -- together?
MYRA
(hesitating)
Well, yeah...
Myra looks to Mike -- what does she think? Mike turns to Horace.
MIKE
Horace, are you ready to leave the clinic?
(beat)
Would you like to go home... to your family?
Horace looks from Mike to Myra -- a smile on his face for the first time.
HORACE
(with assurance)
It's all I ever wanted.
Myra looks up at Horace a moment, then glances at Mike, uncomfortable, as the reality of her renewed commitment sinks in. Mike smiles back encouragingly. Myra turns back to Horace, and hugs him tightly. Horace hugs her back even tighter.
Off Mike, grateful to see Horace on the road to recovery.
FADE OUT.
END OF ACT TWO

ACT THREE
FADE IN:
EXT. CLINIC - DAY SEVEN
Myra stands smiling as Mike and Horace, carrying a small suitcase, come out of the clinic.
MYRA
Hey, you ready?
Mike steps off the porch leading the way, then looks back to Horace. Horace looks across the street toward the boarding house, a seemingly insurmountable distance. Then, with determination, they stride off toward the boarding house.
HORACE
(nodding)
Sure am.
MIKE
Horace, isn't it exciting, your first day back?
HORACE
Sure is.

EXT. BOARDING HOUSE - DAY SEVEN
The Reverend and Brian, holding Samantha's hand, wait outside the boarding house.
Brian looks up as Mike, Myra and Horace approach.
MIKE
Horace, you've got quite a welcoming party.
REVEREND
Mornin' Horace.
BRIAN
Hey Horace.
HORACE
Mornin' everybody.
SAMANTHA
You're home, Papa.
Horace sets his suitcase down and looks down at Samantha.
HORACE
Sure am.
Brian takes in the picture of Myra, Horace and Samantha -- a happy family.
BRIAN
It's almost like gettin' married all over again.
HORACE
Yeah, it kinda is.
REVEREND
Then why don't we make it official -- have another weddin' ceremony?
MIKE
What a wonderful idea, Reverend.
MYRA
(warming to the idea)
Can we really do that? We're already married.
REVEREND
I don't see why not.
MYRA
What do you think Horace?
HORACE
Our weddin' day was the happiest day a my life.
Myra nods and smiles up at Horace.
MYRA
Then it's settled.
Mike, Brian and the Reverend look on, pleased by the turn of events.

INT. BOARDING HOUSE - NIGHT SEVEN
Myra and Horace, dressed in their night clothes, prepare for bed. Myra emerges from behind a screen where Samanatha sleeps.
MYRA
(to Samantha)
Sleep well, sweetheart.
The room seems too small for them as they try to navigate around one another. Horace unpacks the last of his things from the clinic.
Myra turns to hang up one of her stylish city dresses in the wardrobe. She runs into Horace, ready to hang up his jacket.
MYRA
Oh, I'm sorry. Go ahead.
HORACE
No, you.
Horace notices the dress, nothing like the clothes Myra used to wear, and backs away.
HORACE
Pretty dress.
MYRA
Yeah, they like me to dress nice at the bank.
Myra puts the dress away. Then moves to her side of the bed and gets in. Horace hangs his jacket in the wardrobe.
MYRA
Maybe we could take Samantha on a picnic tomorrow?
Horace moves to the bed, seeing Myra there seems odd now, somehow unfamiliar.
HORACE
Sure, that sounds good.
She reaches over and turns his side of the bed down. Horace lowers the lamp flame, then gets into bed. Side-by-side, once again.
MYRA
She'd like that.
HORACE
(distracted)
What?
MYRA
Samantha.
HORACE
Oh, yeah, the picnic.
MYRA
What would you like to have? We could get somethin' special from Grace's.
HORACE
I don't know, doesn't matter.
MYRA
Yeah it does, and I know how much you like her fried chicken.
HORACE
Whatever we have'll be fine.
Myra reaches for his hand. He pats her hand.
HORACE
I'm awful tired Myra.
Myra withdraws her hand.
MYRA
Oh, sure. You get some sleep.
(a beat, then:)
Good night, Horace.
HORACE
Good night, Myra.
Horace turns away, facing the wall.

+CLOSE ON HORACE
who stares at the wall wide awake.

INT. TELEGRAPH OFFICE - DAY EIGHT
Loren and Jake stand at the counter. Horace completes sending a message, then looks up.
HORACE
That'll be two bits.
LOREN
(genuine)
It's good to have you back, Horace.
JAKE
Telegraph office ain't the same without you.
Jake reaches into his pocket for change and slides it across the counter.
JAKE
Can you read that back to me?
Horace looks at his telegraph pad.
HORACE
(reading)
To Mr. Bernard at the Denver Post --
JAKE
(trying not to lose patience.)
No, Horace, Dallas.
HORACE
Oh, sorry, Jake.
LOREN
It's alright Horace, can't be easy gettin' used to things your first day back.
Loren shoots Jake an appealing look. Jake relents, softens his tone.
JAKE
That's Mr. Bernard at the Dallas Post.
HORACE
Dallas?
JAKE
(patiently, spelling out)
D-a-l-l-a-s.
HORACE
I got it, Jake, no problem. I'll send it again.
Horace turns away to send the new message. Loren and Jake look on, pleased that Horace seems better. They turn to leave and pass Mike as she enters.
MIKE
Good morning, gentleman.
LOREN/JAKE
Dr. Mike.
Horace looks up at the sound of Mike's voice.
MIKE
Good morning, Horace.
HORACE
Hey, Dr. Mike.
He stands and retrieves a package from the bin, pushing it across the counter towards Mike.
HORACE
Got those medical supplies you ordered.
MIKE
Thank you.
She glances down at the package and sees that it's addressed to Dorothy.
MIKE
Oh, Horace, this package is for Dorothy.
HORACE
Sorry 'bout that.
Horace quickly removes the package and searches for the correct one. Finding it, he hands it to her.
HORACE
Here's yours.
MIKE
Thank you.
Mike reaches out and touches his arm.
MIKE
How are you doing, Horace?
HORACE
Well, it's my first day back -- and I'm a little rusty, but I've turned a corner, Dr. Mike. In a couple of days I know I'll be good as new.
MIKE
Good, I'm glad to see that everything is going well.
HORACE
Everything's going great.
Mike nods and smiles, then turns and leaves. As soon as Mike is out the door, Horace sinks into his chair, his smile falls away, leaving him deeply troubled. Everything is not going great.

EXT. GOLD NUGGET - DAY EIGHT
Hank leans on the porch railing of the Gold Nugget. He sees Myra on her way to the clinic.
HANK
Myra!
Myra stops and looks in Hank's direction. She can't avoid him and walks over to the porch.
MYRA
Hey, Hank.
HANK
Myra.
Hank takes a long, slow look at her -- taking in her new hairstyle and stylish clothes.
HANK
There's somethin' different 'bout you, Myra.
MYRA
There's been somethin' different 'bout me since I quit workin' for you.
Myra gives him a skeptical look, not trusting him for a minute.
HANK
Now, don't get your back up. You look good... city livin' agrees with you.
MYRA
(genuine)
Thank you, Hank.
HANK
That's why I can't understand you thinkin' of gettin' married to Horace again.
Myra stiffens defensively.
MYRA
Hank, you ain't changed.
HANK
Maybe not, but you have. An' you're foolin' yourself if you think you can go back to being just "Mrs. Bing".
MYRA
I never stopped being Mrs. Bing.
HANK
What 'bout them divorce papers?
MYRA
That's all behind us now, everythin's changed... Horace needs me.
HANK
And what about you?
Hank raises an eyebrow, questioning her, but she doesn't back down. Myra stubbornly holds his look.
MYRA
Me?
(a beat)
I'm gettin' married... tomorrow.
HANK
Well, I guess I'll see you at the weddin'... Mrs. Bing.

EXT. MEADOW - DAY NINE
The meadow is chapel quiet. The wedding guests gathered. Loren, Jake, Hank, Robert E, Grace, Matthew (holding Katie), Brian (holding Samantha's hand) and Andrew, have been waiting in their places long, silent minutes. They shift, restless and edgy. Horace is late.
The Reverend stands underneath an arbor of wildflowers. He clears his throat nervously, almost grateful not to see the faces in front of him.
Myra stands, in her wedding gown, facing the Reverend, with Mike and Sully at her side. She stares blankly ahead, twisting her bouquet of pink lilacs back and forth in her hands.
Mike looks to Sully, her face strained with unspoken fear.
SULLY
He'll be along.
LOREN
Said he had a few things to take care of at the telegraph office.
MATTHEW
I just rode by, he wasn't there.
Mike puts her arm around Myra, offering comfort.
Sully stares down the street.
SULLY
(to Mike)
I'll find him.
Mike turns to Sully, a sick feeling growing in her gut. Sully nods. Myra looks at Mike, pleading, shaking her head.
GRACE
Go. I'll watch the children.
Sully, Mike and Myra head toward the boarding house, picking up the pace as they go.

INT. BOARDING HOUSE - DAY NINE
Horace, dressed in his wedding suit, stares at his reflection in the dresser mirror. His expression is flat and colorless.
The door bangs open as Sully, Mike and Myra rush in -- he's alive.
MIKE
Horace?
Horace turns around and Mike sees:

+CLOSE ON THE REVOLVER
held in Horace's hand.

+RESUME
HORACE
Leave me alone.
Sully steps in front of Mike and Myra.
SULLY
Put the gun down, Horace.
Horace doesn't move. Myra pushes past Sully, fighting her fear.
MYRA
Don't do this, Horace...
(crying now)
Horace, I'm beggin' you, don't do this... please...
HORACE
I'm sorry, Myra, but you and Samantha'll be better off without me.
The gun shakes in Horace's hand, he's barely holding it together. Sully steps forward, his hand outstretched for the gun.
SULLY
(gently)
Gimme the gun, Horace.
Horace stares blankly at him - the moment of truth. He slowly raises the gun, staring down at it. A beat, then he lowers his arm, defeated. Sully steps over and takes the gun from his hand.

+HORACE
stands alone, shattered. He slumps to the bed -- all hopes dashed.

+RESUME
Myra moves to the bed, reaching out to comfort him.
HORACE
I'm sorry Myra, I tried... for you and for Samantha. I said I was better... I'm not.
Saying the words out loud releases a floodgate of emotion. He looks away, wounded, tears brimming in his eyes.
HORACE
I can barely get outta bed in the mornin'. And when I do, it feels like I'm walkin' knee-deep in mud.
He looks up to Dr. Mike, barely holding it together.
HORACE
Nothin' feels right, nothin' tastes good... I feel like I'm suffocatin', it's pressin' in on me so hard. And I can't make it go away.
(a beat, pleading)
What's happenin' to me, Dr. Mike?
MIKE
(with a heavy heart)
I don't know.
Off Mike's sorrowful look as we:
FADE OUT.
END OF ACT THREE

ACT FOUR
FADE IN:
EXT. CLINIC - DAY NINE
Mike comes out of the clinic to talk to the gathered crowd. Myra, Sully, Jake, Loren, Matthew, Andrew, Hank and the Reverend wait for her to speak.
MIKE
I've sedated him. He's resting comfortably.
The crowd MURMURS, uneasy.
MIKE
We'll need to take turns staying with him again.
JAKE
We already done that and he ain't no better.
HANK
Maybe he really is crazy?
MIKE
That's a terrible word, crazy -- Horace is our friend. He needs our support now, more than ever.
ANDREW
You're right, Michaela. But for his own safety, a sanatorium could be the best way for us to support him.
A beat, as Mike takes this in.
MIKE
He can't afford that.
LOREN
If it's best for him to go away, we could raise the money.
The crowd murmurs their agreement. Mike, still fighting the thought of sending Horace away, looks to Myra. She sadly returns Mike's gaze, seeing no other choice.
MYRA
What else can we do, Dr. Mike?
Mike has no answer.

EXT. BALCONY - DAY TEN
Horace sits in a chair and stares out over the town. He doesn't look up when Mike comes out.
Mike pulls a chair up beside him and sits down.
MIKE
Horace, I apologize.
Horace looks at her.
HORACE
What for?
MIKE
I wanted to believe I could cure you, when the truth is, I don't really know what's wrong.
HORACE
What're you sayin'?
MIKE
Well, the medical books say this condition could pass suddenly, gradually, or perhaps never.
Horace reacts, trying to make sense of what she is saying.
MIKE
Some doctors feel that a complete change... a sanatorium may prove helpful.
HORACE
What do you think, Dr. Mike?
It's painful, as Mike struggles to say the words.
MIKE
Perhaps a sanatorium might be best.
Horace nods then turns to stare once again out the window. A long silent beat, then Mike reaches over and holds his hand, as they both continue to gaze out over the town.
DISSOLVE TO:

INT. MIKE AND SULLY'S BEDROOM - NIGHT TEN
Mike is brushing her hair. Sully comes into the room, takes the brush from her, continues brushing her hair for her.

MIKE
(very sad)
He said -- he'd go to a sanatorium.
Sully nods. He knows there's nothing he can say that will comfort her at the moment.
SULLY
(tenderly)
Some things just ain't ours to fix, Michaela. No matter how much we want to.
She nods. He kisses her.
SULLY
Why don't you get into bed. I'll bring you some tea.
She looks up at him with love and gratitude. They kiss again, and he gets up and goes out of the room.
CUT TO:

INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT TEN
Brian is sitting at the kitchen table in his night shirt, staring into space, considering something. Sully is surprised to see him.
SULLY
Brian?
Brian is startled out of his reverie.
SULLY
What are you doin' up?
BRIAN
Just thinkin'.
Sully starts to make tea for Mike as he and Brian talk.
SULLY
'Bout what?
BRIAN
I was thinkin' -- sometimes I get -- sad.
Sully nods, goes on about his chores, waits for Brian to give him more information.
BRIAN
And I was just wonderin'-- what if --
He hesitates to say it out loud. Sully helps him.
SULLY
What if you got sad? Like Horace?
Brian is relieved not to have to say it. He nods, looks at Sully with frank curiosity.
BRIAN
Can that happen to anybody?
Sully sits down across from him. He doesn't down-play Brian's fears.
SULLY
People have all kinds of feelin's. Feelin' sad is all right.
BRIAN
Did you ever feel like that?
SULLY
I've been real sad. And I've been real angry. I know sometimes I haven't much appreciated the gift of being alive.
BRIAN
(quietly)
But you never tried to kill yourself.
SULLY
No. That's just not somethin' I'd ever do. Neither would you or your ma.
BRIAN
But, how do you know that?
SULLY
Brian, there's always a reason to go on livin', some folks just have more trouble seein' it.
Brian looks to Sully, trying to follow along, but still confused.
SULLY
Remember, when your ma died -- you were awful sad.
Brian nods solemnly.
BRIAN
Saddest I ever been.
SULLY
But you didn't give up. You found a reason to keep goin' -- for Colleen, Matthew and Dr. Mike...
Brian looks to Sully and the pieces start falling solidly into place. A beat, then:
BRIAN
... And you, Sully --
Sully nods and Brian looks up and hugs him, grateful to Sully for easing his fears.
DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. CAFE - DAY ELEVEN
Mike and Andrew are reading the sanatorium pamphlets that are spread out on the table.
ANDREW
This looks like a possibility, the grounds look quite attractive.
Andrew hands the pamphlet to Mike who examines it.
MIKE
Yes, it does look lovely, but, I'm afraid it's too expensive. We've collected some money, but not nearly enough to afford the Twin Oaks Sanatorium.
Mike picks up another brochure and reads it.
MIKE
This one seems more affordable, and it looks quite pleasant, too.
(turning it over)
Oh... Vermont...
She looks to Andrew.
MIKE
It's so far away.
Jake walks up. Mike and Andrew look up, surprised to see him.
MIKE
Jake?
JAKE
Dr. Mike. Andrew.
MIKE
What can we do for you, Jake?
An uncomfortable beat, then:
JAKE
Well, I wanted to tell you, we got some money in the town treasury -- for emergencies. It ain't much, but I thought, maybe it could help.
MIKE
Thank you, Jake. I'm sure it will.
Mike smiles, genuinely touched by Jake's offer. Jake nods and turns, leaving the cafe.
DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. PORCH - DAY TWELVE
Mike looks up from sweeping the porch to see --

+WIDEN
Myra, the Reverend and Samantha, walking toward the clinic.
MYRA
You stay here with the Reverend, honey, while I go talk to Dr. Mike.
Samantha guides the Reverend to a bench on the porch. Samantha and the Reverend play contentedly with Sarah. Myra continues over to Mike.
MYRA
The Reverend told me Horace's willin' to see me now. Is he better?
MIKE
I'm afraid he's the same.
MYRA
Then, he's still goin' away?
MIKE
Yes.
MYRA
What should I do, Dr. Mike?
MIKE
I don't know what to tell you, Myra.
MYRA
But, it's all 'cause of me.
Mike sees Myra's turmoil and feels responsible.
MIKE
Myra, I have to believe that there's something more to what's troubling Horace...
Mike struggles, working it out as she goes along.
MIKE
... something we can't see or perhaps even understand... People get divorced, but they don't...
MYRA
Try an' kill themselves.
Mike nods sadly.
MYRA
(a beat, considering)
All I know is... I gotta stick by him.
Myra feels relieved, having made her decision. She goes inside the clinic. Mike looks after her, troubled that Myra may be letting herself in for heartbreak. She then turns back to watch --

+HER POV
of the Reverend and Samantha, playing.

EXT. CLINIC BALCONY - DAY TWELVE
Horace stands alone, watching the town's clamor and commotion.
MYRA (O.S.)
Horace?
HORACE
Out here Myra.
Myra joins Horace on the balcony.
MYRA
It's nice out here.
Horace nods.
HORACE
Yeah.
MYRA (said at same time)
Horace?
HORACE (said at same time)
Myra?
HORACE
No. You go.
Myra shakes her head.
MYRA
No, you go first.
Horace turns to Myra, almost apologizing.
HORACE
I want you and Samantha to go home to St. Louis.
MYRA
No, Horace, we're comin' with you.
HORACE
(gently)
No. Myra, you done all you can for me.
MYRA
But, I can get a job. An' me and Samantha'll come to see you on visitin' days.
Horace smiles bravely -- she's still the sweet woman he married.
HORACE
I been standin' out here for hours. Thinkin' 'bout all the nights I lay staring at the ceiling, wishin' you'd come home to me... But, no matter how long I wished for it, havin' you here hasn't made it any better.
Horace takes the divorce papers from his pocket and hands them to her.

+CLOSE ON THE DIVORCE PAPERS
The same papers Sully picked up in the teaser.

+RESUME
as Myra recognizes the papers and tears start to well in her eyes. She silently shakes her head.
Myra looks into his eyes -- this is really what he wants from her. She slowly takes the papers. A beat, then she turns to go, but stops short.
She quickly turns around and hugs him hard. He feels brittle in her arms. She pulls away and looks up at him, but her hand lingers on his chest a moment.
He holds her look, nodding quietly. She turns away and leaves. A beat as Horace looks at the closed door, then he turns back to watch the town below.

INT. CLINIC - DAY TWELVE
Mike and Samantha sit together on the cot, playing with her doll. Samantha stands up on the cot, holding Sarah out for Mike to see.
SAMANTHA
Look, Sarah's happy.
Mike admires the doll's smiling face.
MIKE
You're right. She looks very happy.
SAMANTHA
Can I show her to Papa?
Samantha's simple question brings home the pain of their predicament.
MIKE
... Yes, I think your papa would like that.
They look up as Myra comes in, tears in her eyes.
MYRA
He wants us to go.
Mike nods knowingly. She walks over to Myra, holding her arms open. Myra walks into her embrace.
MYRA
It's so hard to leave him, knowin' he's still so sad.
Mike nods, hugging her closer. She looks over Myra's shoulder at Samantha, playing with Sarah, an idea forming.

INT. RECOVERY ROOM - DAY TWELVE
Horace sits on the bed as Mike enters the room.
MIKE
Horace?
Horace look up, curious.
MIKE
You have a visitor.
Mike goes out to the hallway and returns with Samantha, holding her doll, Sarah. Samantha goes to stand in front of Horace.
SAMANTHA
Mama says we're leavin'.
HORACE
That's right honey, you're going back to St. Louis where you can play with all your friends.
SAMANTHA
Are you comin' with us?
HORACE
No, sweetheart, I'm not comin'. Papa's got... I just can't.
Samantha can see that he's unhappy. She holds her doll up for him to see.
SAMANTHA
Sarah says don't be sad Papa.
Samantha looks him right in the eye with a serious, thoughtful expression.
SAMANTHA
I told Sarah, when you come for my birthday party -- you're gonna be happy.
Horace feels awful, he'd forgotten her birthday was so near.
HORACE
Oh, Samantha, wish I could, but...
Samantha turns away, burying her face in Sarah's hair.
HORACE
What's wrong, honey?
She looks up at him, tears welling in her eyes.
SAMANTHA
Now Sarah's sad.
Horace's heart breaks for his daughter's pain. Horace opens his arms and picks her up for the first time, holding her close to his heart.
HORACE
Don't cry baby. Papa will be there for your birthday... I promise.
Tears brimming in his eyes, he looks over Samantha's shoulder toward the doorway, where Mike and Myra are watching. He holds their gaze -- will he be able to keep his promise?

INT. CLINIC - DAY THIRTEEN
Mike is folding bandages when Horace comes in the door from the recovery room. He's carrying his suitcase. Mike looks up surprised.
HORACE
I'm not goin' to that sanatorium.
Mike is pleased to hear his decision but is still nervous about letting him leave, alone.
MIKE
You know that you're welcome to stay here as long as you like.
Horace smiles at her concern for him.
HORACE
Thank you Dr. Mike, but I got somethin' I gotta do.
(beat)
I'm goin' over to the General Store and order a present for Samantha...
Mike holds his look.
HORACE
I'll be takin' it to her in St. Louis for her birthday.
Mike understands what he's telling her -- he's going to keep living day-to-day.
MIKE
I'm glad.
Horace turns and walks out the door.

EXT. CLINIC PORCH - DAY TWELVE
Mike follows him out the door and onto the porch.

+MIKE'S POV
Horace walks across the street and stops a moment. He stands in the middle of the street, breathing in the life of the town. Then, he turns and heads toward the General Store.

+MIKE
watches him a moment, smiling slightly. There's still concern, but more relief that Horace has taken the first step back to life. Then she turns and goes back inside the clinic, shutting the door behind her as we:
FADE OUT
THE END


 

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