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SAFE PASSAGE

Written by Eric Tuchman / Directed by Alan Levi

TEASER
FADE IN:
EXT. CLINIC - DAY ONE - DECEMBER, 1872
MIKE and DANIEL come out of the clinic, their hands full of medical supplies. They are careful not to be overheard.
DANIEL
All this medicine, these supplies, you must've emptied your cabinets, Michaela.
MIKE
I'm not certain what I'll be treating, I have to be prepared.
They put the supplies in the packs tied onto FLASH.
DANIEL
What'd Sully tell ya?
MIKE
Just that the braves have high fevers, they're weak and congested...
DANIEL
Black Moon must be real worried, lettin' you come tend to 'is men.
Mike hesitates thoughtfully.
DANIEL
Ya forget somethin'?
MIKE
No, I -- well, I can't help feeling a bit anxious about meeting Black Moon face-to-face... but I know Sully would never bring me to his camp unless it was safe.
DANIEL
I'm sure it's gonna be fine.
Mike manages a reassured smile, then climbs onto Flash.
The SOUND of approaching horses gets Mike's and Daniel's attention.
THEIR POV
SGT. MCKAY rides around the corner, leading a dozen SOLDIERS on horseback toward the meadow. Riding with grim purpose beside him is his no-nonsense commanding officer, MAJOR SAMUEL MORRISON.
ANGLE ON MIKE AND DANIEL
reacting to McKay's unexpected return to town with reinforcements.
ANOTHER ANGLE
Morrison and the soldiers continue toward the meadow as McKay rides over to Mike and Daniel.
MCKAY
Dr. Quinn. Sheriff.
DANIEL
Sergeant. Didn't expect to see you back in town.
MIKE
Bringing more men.
McKay sees that Mike's troubled by the increased army presence.
MCKAY
I wanted to alert you -- we got reason to believe Black Moon's plannin' to attack again.
DANIEL
Attack? There hasn't been an Indian raid in months.
MCKAY
Black Moon lost so many of his men in our last conflict --
MIKE
(interrupts, correcting him) Massacre.
McKay reacts, but meets Mike's stare.
MCKAY
We're expectin' 'im to retaliate. I just want ya to be prepared.
Mike looks disturbed by McKay's warning as we...
CUT TO:
EXT. WOODS - DAY ONE
Sully and Mike ride side-by-side along the trail.
SULLY
Black Moon's braves're in no condition to fight.
MIKE
Then perhaps he's gathering warriors from other tribes.
SULLY
I ain't seen evidence of that. The army's wrong, Michaela.
Still distressed, Mike reveals her deeper fears:
MIKE
Whatever the case, the army is here, with more men who can search for you -- and find you.
SULLY
Nobody's findin' me.
Mike is not consoled -- it's increasingly difficult for her to stay confident and hopeful.
SULLY
(gently) We're gonna get through this. But right now, folks are sick. You can help 'em.
Mike nods, empowered by the strength in his gaze. They ride on.
EXT. BLACK MOON'S CAMP - DAY ONE
Beside a tepee, CLOUD DANCING lifts an ill BRAVE's head, helping him sip water. He hears approaching horses.
CLOUD DANCING'S POV
Mike and Sully gallop into camp.
CLOUD DANCING
is greatly relieved. He finishes tending his patient and moves to greet them.
RESUME
Mike and Sully dismount and tie their horses.
MIKE
Cloud Dancing...
Cloud Dancing warmly grasps Mike's hand with both of his own.
CLOUD DANCING
I have tried everything. I am hoping your medicine will help -- but Black Moon is still uncertain.
Mike nods and surveys the scene.
MIKE'S POV
Scattered throughout the camp, the few HEALTHY BRAVES eye Mike warily, but they are not threatening.
The SICK INDIANS sit at various small fires, shivering, coughing, clutching blankets around themselves. They glance Mike's way curiously, guardedly.
The SICKEST INDIANS are stretched out, too weary to sit.
MIKE
responds to the illness and poverty around her with great dismay. She shares a sad look with Sully.
CLOUD DANCING
Food is scarce. The men grow weaker.
A BRAVE at a nearby fire begins coughing terribly. Mike makes a move toward him, but he abruptly turns away.
Mike turns questioningly to Cloud Dancing.
CLOUD DANCING
First you must see Black Moon. Once he trusts you, they will.
MIKE
I understand.
Mike looks compassionately at the brave, who finishes coughing into a cloth. When he takes it away from his mouth, Mike sees bright red BLOOD on it. The wind briefly goes out of her. She turns to Sully and Cloud Dancing, who have seen the evidence, too.
MIKE
(with quiet gravity) Consumption.
Sully ind Cloud Dancing nod, knowing the dire consequences.
CLOUD DANCING
(gesturing to a tepee) Black Moon is expecting you.
Mike glances nervously at Sully. He gives her an encouraging look. They follow Cloud Dancing to the tepee.
Cloud Dancing moves aside the flap. Mike takes a breath and musters her nerve to meet the formidable warrior. She moves...
INT. BLACK MOON'S TEPEE - CONTINUOUS - DAY ONE
Mike straightens, followed by Sully and Cloud Dancing. She peers ahead as her eyes adjust to the change in light.
MIKE'S POV
BLACK MOON sits at a fire. He fixes a steady, unsettling gaze on Mike.
MIKE
meets his stare with silent respect, hiding her anxiety as best she can...
RESUME
Cloud Dancing shifts forward to facilitate the meeting.
CLOUD DANCING
Black Moon... this is Dr. Michaela Quinn.
Black moon's eyes do not leave Mike's face.
BLACK MOON
I have allowed you to come here because Sully and Cloud Dancing are men of honor. They have told me of your skill. (skeptical) But you will use the white man's medicine.
MIKE
Yes -- but I've also learned to use the medicine of your people...
Black Moon keeps staring, seemingly unmoved. Mike tries another tack to win his approval:
MIKE
My medicine healed the wounds of Black Kettle.
This reference to the revered Black Kettle makes Black Moon consider Mike more closely.
BLACK MOON
Black Kettle...
CLOUD DANCING
She saved the great leader when I could not.
SULLY
Black Kettle gave Michaela her Cheyenne name... (in Cheyenne) Medicine Woman. (in English) Medicine Woman.
Black Moon looks at Mike with new esteem.
BLACK MOON
I am grateful, (in Cheyenne) Medicine Woman, (in English) for the care you will provide.
MIKE
Thank you.
Black Moon nods. Mike exchanges relieved glances with Sully and Cloud Dancing, then they head out.
As she turns, Mike hears Black Moon cough and glances back. He shivers, then sees her watching and quickly regains his composure.
Mike registers his symptoms, but Black Moon's strong look dismisses her and she exits.
EXT. BLACK MOON'S TEPEE - CONTINUOUS - DAY ONE
Mike steps out of the tepee and looks at Sully and Cloud Dancing with concern.
MIKE
Black Moon... he's sick, too.
They react.
OFF Mike glancing around the bleak camp, steeling herself for the work ahead as we...
FADE OUT.
END OF TEASER
ACT ONE
FADE IN:
EXT. BLACK MOON'S CAMP - DAY ONE
Mike uses her stethoscope on the brave who'd resisted her help before. She listens to his labored breathing. Sully and Cloud Dancing stand by.
MIKE
Both lungs are affected.
The brave coughs, holding the bloody cloth to his mouth.
SULLY
He's coughin' up a lotta blood.
Mike nods, pouring laudanum into a cup.
MIKE
Once the disease reaches this stage, under these poor conditions, the consumption will progress very rapidly.
She kindly offers the medicine to the brave, but he hesitates.
MIKE
This is laudanum. It will relax your breathing and relieve any pain.
The brave looks to Cloud Dancing, who nods his endorsement. Reassured, the brave takes the cup from Mike and sips.
BLACK MOON (O.S.)
Will your drink save him?
Mike, Sully and Cloud Dancing turn to face Black Moon, who has left his tepee looking tired and drawn.
MIKE
I'm afraid there's no cure for consumption, but the laudanum will ease his discomfort.
Black Moon nods appreciatively. Mike moves closer to him.
MIKE
I've examined everyone... and treated what I could... (aware of his stature) Black Moon... I'm sure you know that even the strongest warrior's fever will be relieved by willow bark tea.
Black Moon smiles faintly.
BLACK MOON
Yes, (in Cheyenne) Medicine Woman. (in English) I intend to prepare some.
Mike nods. She, Sully and Cloud Dancing join Black Moon at he walks pensively through the camp, past his ailing warriors.
BLACK MOON
I have seen this "consumption" before. It is a white man's disease.
Mike trades an awkward glance with Sully.
MIKE
Yes.
Black Moon pauses to appraise his desolate troop.
BLACK MOON
The white man does not need the battlefield to destroy us.
This disheartening fact settles on everyone for a moment.
BLACK MOON
What else can be done?
Mike hesitates, knowing her prescription is not an easy one for Black Moon to fill.
MIKE
The best treatment for consumption is rest and proper nourishment.
BLACK MOON
(nods sadly) Two things I cannot provide for my warriors now.
Cloud Dancing and Sully exchange glances, seizing this opportunity to convince Black Moon to head North.
CLOUD DANCING
You can provide them those things -- if you lead them to the Northern Cheyenne Territory.
SULLY
(to the point) There are more soldiers in town. If your braves fight them now, they'll lose.
Black Moon is disturbed by the truth, but accepts it. Nevertheless, he remains doubtful:
BLACK MOON
You speak of freedom in the North...
CLOUD DANCING
I have been there. In the Tongue River Valley, we can live in peace.
BLACK MOON
For how long? How long can we live in peace on that land before the white man comes to steal it away?
They all realize there can be no guarantees.
CLOUD DANCING
I do not know. But living even one moment in freedom will be a precious gift for your people.
Black Moon considers this, looking at his sick braves.
BLACK MOON
Even if the army lets my people leave here, they may still pursue us.
SULLY
We'll make sure they don't, ask for some sort of agreement.
BLACK MOON
But both of you are fugitives. Who will ask?
Sully and Cloud Dancing glance at each other -- it's true, neither would be able to broker a deal.
Mike senses the urgency of the situation and steps up to the plate.
MIKE
With your permission -- I will.
Black Moon studies Mike -- and nods his consent.
Sully gives Mike a pleased, bolstering look, but she already feels the weight of tremendous responsibility as we...
CUT TO:
EXT. GRACE'S - DAY TWO
The cafe is bustling. Many seats are occupied by SOLDIERS.
A GROUP OF SOLDIERS enters looking for an empty table. They approach HANK, who's helping himself to a refill of coffee. In high spirits, he welcomes and directs them:
HANK
There ya go, fellas. There's one right there in the shade...
Stressed and sullen, GRACE steps up to Hank, taking the coffee pot.
GRACE
This ain't a buffet.
HANK
Just helpin' ya out.
GRACE
Don't bother.
Grace rushes away to pour coffee. Hank heads toward his seat, muttering after her:
HANK
You should be happy havin' all these soldiers in town. It's good for business.
Overhearing, Daniel glances up from the table he's sharing with DOROTHY and HORACE.
DANIEL
Been good for The Gold Nugget, too, Hank?
HANK
Ain't just that. The army's finally gonna take action, fix this Injun problem once 'n for all.
HORACE
Ya think they'll be signin' a treaty soon?
HANK
Treaty? They ain't gonna waste their time signin' treaties.
DOROTHY
Whad'ya mean?
HANK
I think the army's gonna find them Injun renegades -- an' wipe 'em out for good.
DOROTHY
The Indians are human bein's, Hank, whatever our differences.
DANIEL
We gotta keep tryin' an' hopin' for a peaceful solution.
HANK
You can keep tryin' 'n hopin' all ya like but things've been headed this way all along.
HORACE
Which "way"?
HANK
Let's just say I'll feel a whole lot safer once them Injuns've been... "removed." Permanent.
They all give Hank disdainful looks, then turn away.
EXT. MEADOW - DAY TWO
McKay studies a map outside a tent. Glancing up, he sees Mike heading his way with a determined stride.
MCKAY
(with courtesy) Dr. Quinn.
MIKE
Sergeant.
She stops in front of him, not sure how to begin. McKay looks at her expectantly.
MIKE
I'm very pleased that you've returned to town...
MCKAY
You are? Why?
Mike allows a slight smile. Despite the strained circumstances, there is a genuine connection between them.
MIKE
I've come to know you as an honorable and reasonable man. And I'm here to suggest the possibility of a peaceful settlement with the Indians.
Before McKay can respond, Major Morrison comes out of the tent and interrupts.
MORRISON
That possibility no longer exists.
Mike turns, caught off-guard by the intrusion. McKay looks uncomfortable with his commander's brusque manner.
MCKAY
Dr. Quinn, may I present my commanding officer, Major Samuel Morrison. Major Morrison, this is --
MORRISON
I know who she is.
Morrison's eyes bore into Mike's. She stares back, having regained her poise.
MORRISON
(insinuating) That fine soldier and my good friend, General Wooden, died while under your care.
MIKE
(keeping her cool) Yes. And I'm sorry for your loss, Major. But I believe General Wooden would have recovered from his wounds, had he not ignored my warnings and consumed an entire flask of alcohol.
This briefly shuts Morrison up, but Mike's response also incites him.
MORRISON
Have you been charged, Dr. Quinn, with speaking for the renegades?
MIKE
I am here simply to present the opportunity for an accord.
MORRISON
An accord? With the man whole terrorized your community? Black Moon has caused the death and suffering of your fellow citizens.
MIKE
Both sides have endured casualties. I'd like to avoid any further bloodshed.
MORRISON
We will. Once I've apprehended Black Moon, the tribes' unity will be destroyed and their threat to this town quickly extinguished. (on a roll) I can also assure you, Dr. Quinn, that your husband's involvement in the rebellion has by no means been forgotten. The army has every intention of pursuing his case.
Mike feels besieged, but Morrison makes his final strike against her.
MORRISON
Sergeant McKay?
MCKAY
Yes, air?
MORRISON
Need we also remind Dr. Quinn that aiding and abetting a fugitive remains a punishable crime?
McKay falters and looks regretfully at Mike.
MIKE
I am well aware of the penalties, Sergeant.
McKay nods.
MORRISON
Then take heed, Doctor. We'll be watching you.
Defeated for the moment, Mike glares at Morrison, exchanges a frustrated look with McKay, then turns and walks away.
EXT. HOMESTEAD - ESTABLISHING - NIGHT TWO
INT. HOMESTEAD - NIGHT TWO
Incensed by her encounter with Morrison, Mike brings a platter of food to the table. BRIAN carries over a pitcher. MATTHEW and COLLEEN finish setting plates and utensils. KATIE is in her high-chair. Daniel stokes the fire, then heads over.
MIKE
He was infuriating. Obstinate and dismissive. How can we ever hope for peace with the Indians if the army is unwilling to negotiate?
DANIEL
There's gotta be a way to get through to this... ?
MIKE
Morrison, Major Morrison. Worst of all, he was very clear about pressing Sully's case. (to Matthew, hopeful) Have you heard anything from that lawyer in St. Louis?
MATTHEW
(beat) I didn't wanna tell ya tonight, but I got word from 'im today.
MIKE
(knowing) He turned down Sully's case.
Matthew nods. Mike sinks into a chair, despairing.
COLLEEN
There're still other lawyers, Ms.
MIKE
I know. But even if we do find a strong attorney, I've a feeling that Sully's case can't be resolved until the Indian conflict is settled.
DANIEL
Then maybe we oughta start lookin' for somebody to settle that conflict first.
MIKE
If only President Grant would respond to our letters. I thought that knowing Sully personally might call his attention to the matter....
Mike sighs -- the future looks grim.
DANIEL
(staying optimistic) Let's think about this. If we could get somebody who'd sit between both sides an' be fair an' neutral...
MATTHEW
(a tall order) Somebody both the army an' the Indians could trust?
BRIAN
I don't know any white men the Indians trust 'sides Sully.
They all think for a moment. Mike brightens a bit.
MIKE
What about Welland Smith?
BRIAN
Who?
MIKE
Welland Smith. Sully knows him. He works for the Department of the Interior.
COLLEEN
Why do ya think he could help?
MIKE
Smith helped establish Yellowstone National Park. I believe the Indians would respect a man who cares about the land.
DANIEL
An' the army would respect a man who works for President Grant. Smith's a good idea, Michaela.
MATTHEW
I'll send 'im a telegram first thing.
Mike nods, but remains uncertain, not eager to face more disappointment.
EXT. BLACK MOON'S CAMP - DAY THREE
Cloud Dancing greets Sully and Mike as they ride into camp. Sully sees his worried expression.
SULLY
What happened?
CLOUD DANCING
Black Moon. He is worse.
They react and dismount quickly.
INT. BLACK MOON'S TEPEE - DAY THREE
Mike checks Black Moon's ragged breathing with her stethoscope. He appears weaker. Sully and Cloud Dancing look on.
CLOUD DANCING
He refuses his share of the food.
BLACK MOON
There are men much sicker than I.
MIKE
Black Moon, you must eat. A strong constitution is the best way to resist the disease.
But Black Moon already seems resigned to his illness. His only interest now is freedom for his people. He looks at Mike.
BLACK MOON
Will the army negotiate?
Mike hesitates, glancing at Sully, who reassures Black Moon.
SULLY
We're hopin' that somebody'll come to help both sides agree. His name's Welland Smith. A good, honest man.
Black Moon sighs in bitter disappointment. He knows the score.
BLACK MOON
But for now -- the army does not want peace.
MIKE
No...
CLOUD DANCING
What do they want?
Black Moon sees the answer in Mike's eyes.
BLACK MOON
They want me.
Mike's uneasy silence confirms his suspicion. A beat.
BLACK MOON
Then they shall have me.
Mike, Sully and Cloud Dancing are stunned.
BLACK MOON
If my people are promised safe passage North, I will surrender.
SULLY
There's gotta be some other way.
BLACK MOON
No. I have already considered this plan.
MIKE
But let's wait and see. Perhaps Welland Smith --
BLACK MOON
(interrupting, resolved) I am dying (in Cheyenne) Medicine Woman. (in English). In this way, my death will have purpose. (beat) But the army will not see the value in the surrender of a dying man. They must not know I am sick. For this, I will need your help.
Black Moon turns to Mike, who feels everyone's stare. A beat. She nods, accepting the assignment.
MIKE
There are ways to mask your symptoms temporarily.
Black Moon sits back, exhausted but pleased.
OFF Mike pondering the consequences of her decision...
EXT. CAVE - DAY THREE
Mike and Sully ride up and dismount at the entrance. He turns to her -- it's time for another goodbye.
Sully is optimistic, but Mike looks at him, then lowers her eyes -- the strain of their plight is wearing her down.
SULLY
(puzzled by her mood) Michaela... with Black Moon willin' to surrender, the Indians have some hope now. An' the army may be satisfied.
MIKE
But what about you?
SULLY
We'll deal with me when the time comes.
MIKE
When? When does the time come for you, Sully?
Sully is quieted by her sudden intensity.
MIKE
I want freedom for the Indians, I want peace in our town, but you... more than anything, I want you home with me and with our children...
SULLY
There's nothin' I want more.
Distraught, Mike moves into Sully's comforting embrace, clinging to him, the tears coming.
MIKE
Sully, we can't go an like this... stealing moments together... all the time, worried and afraid... praying that a soldier hasn't found you...
Sully holds Mike close, moved by the depth of her fears.
SULLY
If the army accepts Black Moon's offer... I'm turnin' myself in.
MIKE
(shifts back, shocked) No...
SULLY
This ain't a life for us, Michaela, you're right.
MIKE
But they'll prosecute you. We haven't found an attorney...
SULLY
Matthew can keep lookin'.
MIKE
We need more time.
SULLY
(firm) No. (beat) Been time enough.
Mike quiets, upset. Sully looks at her calmly.
SULLY
Sooner or later, we're gonna have to face this. We'll face it together.
Mike nods, struggling to control her rising anxiety as we...
FADE OUT.
END OF ACT ONE
ACT TWO
FADE IN:
EXT. TRAIN STATION - DAY FOUR
Mike, Daniel and Matthew wait as the train pulls in.
ANGLE - THE DOORWAY OF THE TRAIN
The CONDUCTOR steps down, followed by the PASSENGERS and finally
WELLAND SMITH
emerges, scanning the platform.
ANOTHER ANGLE
Mike, Daniel and Matthew notice Smith seeking them out.
MATTHEW
That him?
DANIEL
(stepping forward) Must be. Mr. Smith?
Smith looks Daniel's way and approaches with an alert, personable manner. He holds out his hand.
SMITH
Yes, I'm Welland Smith, Sheriff.
DANIEL
(shaking Smith's hand) Daniel Simon, sir. This here's Matthew Cooper...
SMITH
(shaking Matthew's hand) You sent the telegram.
MATTHEW
Yes, sir.
SMITH
(turns to Mike) And you must be Dr. Quinn.
Mike grasps Smith's extended hand with both of her own.
MIKE
Thank you so much for coming.
SMITH
Left Washington as soon as I could.
Mike smiles, feeling a welcome boost of hope and confidence.
INT. CLINIC - DAY FOUR
Smith questions Mike, Daniel and Matthew.
SMITH
And the army's been stationed in town since last May?
MIKE
Yes, they set up camp right after the revolt at the reservation.
Matthew hands a file to Smith, who leafs through it.
MATTHEW
I wrote up a history of the dispute, Mr. Smith. You should find all the facts ya need right there.
SMITH
Yes. Of course, President Grant has already supplied me with all the information you'd sent to him.
Matthew, Mike and Daniel perk up, surprised to hear of Grant's involvement.
DANIEL
Ya mean the President knows what's been goin' on aroun' here?
SMITH
Certainly, he's been very concerned.
MIKE
But he's never responded to our appeals.
SMITH
(compassionately) Dr. Quinn, I understand in light of Sully's involvement, that this matter is most pressing to you, but you can imagine the number of concerns with which the President must become involved.
MIKE
Yes, of course.
SMITH
However I must assure you that as soon as I received your request, President Grant dispatched me here to settle the dispute with the full force of his authority.
Mike shares encouraged looks with Matthew and Daniel.
SMITH
I understand that Major Samuel Morrison will negotiate for the army.
DANIEL
That's right.
SMITH
And who is the Indians' representative?
Mike swallows -- suddenly, her significance in these events feels overwhelming. She straightens her spine.
MIKE
I am.
Smith considers Mike -- and nods. She looks up to the task.
SMITH
Very well then. Shall we?
Mike smiles agreeably, but she's getting extremely nervous.
As they head out, Matthew whispers words of encouragement to her:
MATTHEW
Wouldn't want anyone else speakin' for me.
Mike appreciates his support, but she still feels uneasy.
EXT. CLINIC - CONTINUOUS - DAY FOUR
Clusters of TOWNSFOLK have gathered to witness the peacemakers approach to the meadow. Hank, Grace and ROBERT E are among them.
Welland Smith, Mike, Daniel and Matthew come outside. Mike stops, surprised to find an audience.
HANK
There she is, folks, the voice of the Redman.
Grace and Robert E frown at Hank, then step toward Mike.
GRACE
Go on, you settle this thing, Dr. Mike.
ROBERT E
Whole town's countin' on ya.
This only heightens Mike's anxiety.
MIKE
I'll do my best.
Mike moves around the onlookers and reaches Dorothy, needing her encouragement. They confer quietly:
MIKE
Dorothy... what am I doing? Who am I to speak for the Indians?
DOROTHY
Who better to speak for 'em? You've always treated the Indians with compassion 'n respect. (grasps Mike's hands) You can do this.
Mike smiles her gratitude, then takes a breath and strides toward the meadow with Daniel and Smith.
Dorothy and Matthew look after them.
EXT. MEADOW - DAY FOUR
Beside McKay on one side of a table, Morrison reads Smith's written orders from President Grant. Mike and Daniel watch from the opposite side. Smith is positioned between the two parties.
MORRISON
(to Smith) It's your mandate from President Grant that's brought me to this table, sir, but you're wasting your time -- this sorry state of affairs has long passed the point of negotiation.
SMITH
I believe it's never too late to negotiate, Major, as long as both parties are willing to listen to each other with consideration and respect.
Morrison frowns, but Mike and Daniel look pleased that Smith won't be pushed around.
SMITH
We're here today to work toward an accord between the United States Army and the Indian tribes led by Black Moon. Will both parties please state their positions?
MORRISON
(instantly) Their surrender.
Mike is disturbed by his response, but stays composed.
SMITH
Dr. Quinn?
MIKE
I would like to state Black Moon's proposal, sir, rather than a position.
SMITH
A proposal? Good. Very good.
Morrison watches Mike warily.
MIKE
Black Moon is willing to surrender...
Morrison leans forward, his eyes widening at the prospect.
MIKE
(clarifying) To surrender himself --
MORRISON
Proposal accepted.
MIKE
I'm not finished, Major.
Morrison grumbles. Mike continues, choosing her words with care:
MIKE
Black Moon will surrender himself in exchange for the army's guarantee that all of his braves receive safe passage to freedom in the Northern Cheyenne Territory.
Morrison scoffs, sitting back.
MORRISON
Proposal rejected.
MIKE
But you said yourself, Major -- without Black Moon's leadership, the Indians' unity will be broken.
DANIEL
They're givin' ya what ya said you want.
MORRISON
I want to ensure the safety of our citizens, Sheriff -- a duty you should find easy to support.
SMITH
Major, let's take a moment to examine this proposal before dismissing it.
MORRISON
The proposal is unacceptable. Black Moon's warriors would remain free to continue their attacks.
MIKE
They don't want to attack, they want to leave the area and live in peace.
DANIEL
Your soldiers can escort them to the Tongue River Valley.
MORRISON
And once my soldiers leave, the braves can return.
MIKE
Here? To what? A life of bitter struggle and destitution?
MORRISON
Oh spare me your sad tales. Those Indians are ingrates. The government provided them with food and shelter --
MIKE
The government stripped them of their land and worse, of their dignity.
MORRISON
The song of the Indian sympathizer.
MIKE
(impassioned) Yes, I do sympathize Major. Because I've seen their lives on the reservation... proud men and women, children, confined, forced off land they once owned. Land they treated with reverence and respect. (driving her point home) The braves don't want war -- they want to live with honor again, as free men. And you have the power to give that to them.
Daniel, Smith and McKay look impressed with Mike's plea, but Morrison remains coldly quiet.
SMITH
Or... you can refuse, Major -- and send more of your men to die in a battle they didn't have to fight.
Morrison is unmoved.
DANIEL
Maybe you don't care 'bout that, sir, but I don't believe President Grant would want anybody -- soldiers or Indians -- dyin' needlessly.
Morrison gives Daniel a cutting look, then turns to Mike..
MORRISON
(with difficulty) If Black Moon surrenders, then... yes -- the army will grant his men safe passage.
Mike exhales with relief. Daniel grins, McKay looks pleased and Smith is satisfied.
SMITH
I'll draw up the documents outlining the details, but first let us shake on the agreement...
Morrison begrudgingly offers Mike his hand.
MIKE
hesitates and stares at his outstretched hand.
RESUME
Morrison is annoyed and the others are curious.
DANIEL
Michaela?
Mike looks at Daniel and sees his confusion. She glances at the others. They're all expectant and perplexed.
MIKE
There is... one additional detail, Mr. Smith... that we must agree upon.
Smith and the others raise their eyebrows.
Very nervous, Mike takes a big breath, preparing to gamble everything with her next move:
MIKE
This pact must include the full and complete pardon of my husband, Byron Sully.
Daniel and the other men are incredulous, stunned -- this is the last thing any of them expected.
MORRISON
Outrageous!
MIKE
(ignoring him, forceful) All charges currently held against him must be permanently dropped.
MORRISON
Your husband's a traitor.
MIKE
No, he's a man who fought injustice and stood up for the rights of his friends.
MORRISON
Friends? He freed the very men who assaulted your town.
MIKE
Sully was never party to the Indian raids.
MORRISON
He committed treason. And his crime is a separate matter entirely. I will not include his pardon in this deal.
Mike struggles to maintain her resolve, fully aware of the great risk she's taking.
MIKE
Then, Major Morrison, we have no deal.
Mike holds Morrison's fierce look. It's a standoff, which Smith is determined to resolve.
SMITH
President Grant wants this Indian matter settled. (to Morrison) It's your move.
Morrison narrows his eyes at Mike, who waits anxiously for his decision. Before we can hear it we...
CUT TO:
EXT. WOODS - DAY FOUR
Mike tears through the woods on Flash, her face flooded with excitement. She calls out as she gets closer to the cave:
MIKE
Sully...! Sully...!
AT SULLY'S CAVE
Sully emerges, alarmed by Mike's shouting. Mike barely stops before dismounting. She throws her arms around him.
MIKE
The army -- they've agreed to our terms...
Sully smiles. Mike looks at him, beaming.
MIKE
And you're coming home.
SULLY
What?
MIKE
Tomorrow, Sully. You're being pardoned. Full and unconditional.
Sully processes the news, his grin broadening.
MIKE
You'll be free.
Sully kisses Mike, spinning her in a joyous embrace.
EXT. BLACK MOON'S TEPEE - DAY FOUR
Cloud Dancing looks up solemnly as Mike and Sully arrive and dismount, energized by her triumph.
SULLY
The army's --
Cloud Dancing holds up his hand to quiet him. He turns toward Black Moon's tepee. They follow his distressed glance.
INT. BLACK MOON'S TEPEE - DAY FOUR
Black Moon is stretched out on blankets, perspiring heavily and very short of breath.
Mike and Sully enter and react, greatly dismayed. They hurry to him.
MIKE
Black Moon...
Black Moon looks up at her.
BLACK MOON
Has the army agreed?
MIKE
Yes...
Black Moon smiles weakly, relieved.
BLACK MOON
My braves will go free.
He is struck by a wave of coughs. Mike quickly takes out a bottle of chloroform and pours a small amount on a cloth.
MIKE
The chloroform will relax your breathing. Inhale it slowly.
He does. His coughing subsides and his breathing becomes more even. He looks at Mike beseechingly.
BLACK MOON
I must stay well enough to surrender. You must keep me alive.
Mike looks at Sully and Cloud Dancing, then starts taking supplies out of her bag, knowing that the Indians' fate -- as well as Sully's -- rests with the success of her procedure, as we...
FADE OUT.
END OF ACT TWO
ACT THREE
FADE IN:
INT. BLACK MOON'S TEPEE - DAY FOUR
Black Moon is asleep. Mike checks the bandage on his ribs, then lifts the blanket over him. She watches his steady breathing for a moment. Satisfied, she moves for the exit.
EXT. BLACK MOON'S CAMP - DAY FOUR
Sully turns to Mike as she leaves the tepee.
MIKE
I drained the fluid in his lungs. He's breathing more comfortably.
Sully is pleased, but still concerned.
SULLY
Will it last through tomorrow?
MIKE
It might. I'll leave some more laudanum to suppress his cough. He should take it just before he surrenders.
Sully nods.
MIKE
Black Moon's consumption is very aggressive, Sully. The relief is only temporary.
SULLY
'Fraid "temporary's" all that Black Moon's hopin' for right now.
Mike nods. The mood is solemn.
EXT. GRACE'S - DAY FOUR
Hank and Robert E stand by as Grace clears empty tables.
HANK
All I know is, them Injuns got off easy.
Robert E and Grace give him a look.
HANK
Well, you ain't the one still findin' bits a your hotel all over town.
Robert E tries not to smile.
HANK
It ain't so funny when you been blown across the street by Injun dynamite.
ROBERT E
I'm sorry 'bout what happened to you, Hank, but we were livin' in a time of war.
GRACE
That's right. Just thank God it's over now.
HANK
It shouldn't be over, not like this. Them Injuns oughta pay for what they done -- an' so should Sully.
ROBERT E
Sully's already paid a high price.
GRACE
(agreeing) All this time, away from is family, forced to hide out in the woods...
HANK
He likes it out in the woods. An' far as I'm concerned, he can stay there. He ain't welcome in this town anymore.
ROBERT E
Speak for yourself.
Grace and Robert E leave Hank irritated.
EXT. WOODS - DAY FOUR
Cloud Dancing waits pensively, hidden behind some brush. He hears a rider approach and looks hopefully toward the trail.
HIS POV - ON DOROTHY
as she trots up, scanning the area.
CLOUD DANCING
sees that it's Dorothy and brightens, stepping onto trail to reveal himself.
ANOTHER ANGLE
Dorothy stops. They smile at each other, but there's an uneasy, pained tension between them. With peace at hand, it's time for them to say goodbye.
Dorothy dismounts.
CLOUD DANCING
You have heard the news?
DOROTHY
'Course. The whole town's talkin' 'bout it. (making sure) You're free to go North with the braves?
CLOUD DANCING
Yes. We will leave in the morning, after Black Moon surrenders.
Dorothy nods, fighting her tears. Cloud Dancing is distraught, feeling just as torn as she. She looks at him, her eyes full of tender longing and regret.
DOROTHY
You 'n your people... finally free. I'm so happy for ya, Cloud Dancin'.
CLOUD DANCING
Dorothy...
He steps forward and takes her hand. They stand, staring into each other's eyes.
CLOUD DANCING
You will stay in my heart.
Dorothy smiles, her eyes misting.
DOROTHY
An' you'll stay in mine.
They slowly embrace, savoring their last moments together.
EXT. HOMESTEAD - MORNING - DAY FIVE - ESTABLISHING
INT. HOMESTEAD - MORNING - DAY FIVE
Mike bustles downstairs and hurries across the room, scanning around to make sure everything is just so. She passes the table, then doubles-back to adjust the position of the centerpiece.
MATTHEW
(from the kitchen) Ya baked two pies?
Mike perks up, alarmed that he might taste and ruin them.
MIKE
Don't touch those, Matthew. (quickly heads over, explaining) I couldn't decide between pumpkin and apple.
Brian enters from outside, holding Katie.
MIKE
Did you sweep the porch?
BRIAN
Yes, Ma.
MIKE
And clean up the barn?
BRIAN
Done.
MIKE
(considering Katie) Perhaps the blue dress for Katie...
MATTHEW
She looks fine.
MIKE
(turns to him) Wood. Do we have enough firewood?
MATTHEW
(smiles, good-natured) Chopped a whole bunch more when ya asked me the first time. Dr. Mike, it's Sully. None a this stuff'll matter to 'im. It's Sully comin' home.
Mike pauses, apologetic, amused by her fussiness.
MIKE
You're right. (starts to grin, loving the sound of this) Sully is coming home.
The boys smile. Mike takes Katie from Matthew and hugs her, beaming.
EXT. MEADOW - DAY FIVE
Smith goes over the day's agenda with Morrison and McKay.
SMITH
Black Moon will divulge the location of his warriors when he surrenders.
MORRISON
If he surrenders.
McKay looks at him, puzzled.
MORRISON
You can't trust the Indians, Sergeant.
MCKAY
We've got an agreement.
MORRISON
A piece of paper.
McKay sighs, dismayed by Morrison's attitude.
SMITH
For the sake of peace, gentlemen, let's hope Black Moon is a man of his word.
McKay agrees, but Morrison remains stern and doubtful.
EXT. BLACK MOON'S CAMP - DAY FIVE
Black Moon emerges from his tepee, shaky and ashen. He coughs blood into a cloth. Sully offers him the laudanum.
SULLY
It'll help keep that cough quiet.
Black Moon nods and drinks the medicine. Cloud Dancing comes over with the black face-paint that he prepared.
Black Moon dabs some on his fingers, hesitates wistfully.
BLACK MOON
My warrior paint... once it showed my strength -- now it will hide my weakness.
Sully and Cloud Dancing watch the proud warrior spread the black paint on his face, then share a somber look.
EXT. CLINIC - DAY FIVE
Mike, Colleen, Brian, Katie and Wolf drive up in the wagon. Matthew rides alongside. Daniel is waiting for them, on his horse. Dorothy comes over from the Gazette and they all exchange greetings.
DOROTHY
What a wonderful day.
A GUNSHOT jolts everyone. They look toward
THE GOLD NUGGET
where Hank has just fired his gun in the air. He glances at them slyly.
HANK
Just testin'.
BACK TO MIKE, DANIEL, AND THE OTHERS
who are not amused.
DANIEL
What for?
HANK
Last time Black Moon rode past here, I was dodgin' dynamite. This time I'm gonna be prepared.
Hank glances toward the TOWNSMEN with rifles and guns who are stationed on and around the hotel's porch.
Mike looks concerned. Daniel reassures her.
DANIEL
I'll meet Sully 'n Black Moon at the edge of town, make sure they ride through here safe.
MIKE
Thank you, Daniel.
Daniel nods and rides off.
EXT. WOODS - DAY FIVE
Sully, Cloud Dancing and Black Moon ride toward town. Cloud Dancing stops. The others turn to him.
CLOUD DANCING
I cannot go further. I must stay here and watch from the woods.
SULLY
Me 'n the family'll see ya b'fore you go North.
Cloud Dancing nods. He looks at Black Moon.
BLACK MOON
Go in peace, Cloud Dancing.
CLOUD DANCING
Because you go with honor.
Black Moon appreciates the tribute.
SULLY
Ready?
Black Moon summons his strength and nods once.
Cloud Dancing remains behind as Sully and Black Moon ride on.
EXT. MEADOW - DAY FIVE
Smith checks his pocket watch.
SMITH
Nine o'clock.
Morrison and McKay look toward town, waiting for Sully's and Black Moon's approach.
EXT. TOWN - CLINIC/GOLD NUGGET - DAY FIVE
Hank and his gunmen are poised with their weapons, watching the road from the train station.
Mike (holding Katie), Matthew, Colleen, Brian and Dorothy gather, edgy with anticipation.
Suddenly, Wolf perks up, sensing something. He barks.
BRIAN
Wolf?
Wolf barks more excitedly. To the family's puzzlement, he dashes off toward the train station.
BRIAN
Wolf!
ROAD IN FRONT OF THE TRAIN STATION
Wolf darts around the corner and races toward the edge of town. He stops at a horse and barks up at the rider as we lift to reveal
SULLY
on horseback, pleased by Wolf's greeting.
SULLY
Hey, Wolf...
ANOTHER ANGLE
Sully glances at Black Moon on the horse beside him. Black Moon smiles faintly. They ride toward Daniel, who waits on horseback and trades warm looks with Sully.
Sully glances at the train platform. Horace is standing there, open-mouthed, his delight at seeing Sully overshadowed by his awe of Black Moon.
SULLY
H'lo, Horace.
HORACE
Sully.
SULLY, BLACK MOON, DANIEL AND WOLF
turn onto
MAIN STREET
Curious TOWNSFOLK line both sides. A few stragglers nervously dart across the road to make way.
Sully rides proudly, very composed. Black Moon stares ahead with unflappable strength and dignity, a powerful presence, hiding his discomfort.
They pass through town with all eyes trained on them. Their reception, clear in the townsfolk's faces, is a mixture of wonder and hostility.
DANIEL
scans the crowd, alert and wary of any trouble.
BLACK MOON
stays focused, never once fazed by or acknowledging the stares or sneers of the townspeople.
SULLY
glances toward the livery.
SULLY'S POV - MOVING - ON ROBERT E AND GRACE
standing together, staring up at him, their eyes welling.
BACK TO SULLY
who struggles to keep his feelings in check, moved at seeing his old friends. Rounding the corner, he nears the Gold Nugget.
SULLY'S POV - MOVING - ON HANK
He and his GUNMEN clutch their weapons, glaring with resentment and disdain.
ANOTHER ANGLE
Sully gives Hank a cool glance, but Black Moon ignores him and looks toward
THE CLINIC
where Mike, Matthew, Colleen, Brian, Katie and Dorothy watch the riders approach.
BLACK MOON
nods at Mike with appreciation -- this is the only time he breaks focus to acknowledge a townsperson.
MIKE
is relieved to see him looking well. She nods back respectfully, then glances toward Sully.
MIKE'S POV - MOVING - CLOSE ON SULLY
as he rides closer, overcome with happiness, his emotions close to breaking.
SULLY'S POV - MOVING - CLOSE ON MIKE
as he passes. Her loving eyes brim, never leaving his face.
ANOTHER ANGLE
Mike and the family watch Sully, Black Moon and Daniel ride into the meadow. Townspeople spill into the street and trail after them to witness the surrender.
EXT. MEADOW - CONTINUOUS - DAY FIVE
A row of SOLDIERS stands at attention. Daniel guides Sully and Black Moon past them and stops at Smith, Morrison and McKay.
Smith stops forward, holding the official document.
SMITH
Black Moon, in accordance with the terms of this agreement signed December 13, 1872, by your representative, Michaela Quinn, M. D. and Major Samuel Morrison, are you here now to surrender yourself to the United States Army?
A beat.
BLACK MOON
I am.
SMITH
And the location of your men?
BLACK MOON
They are now leaving the first canyon north of Willow Creek.
Morrison's eyes gleam with this information.
SMITH
Major Morrison?
Morrison nods at FOUR PRIVATES, who move forward and post themselves around Black Moon's horse.
MORRISON
You will be hereby detained until transported to Fort Leavenworth.
Black Moon hesitates for a moment, then dismounts.
Sully and Daniel look on solemnly.
McKay watches with respect while Black Moon's hands are pulled behind his back and cuffed.
Sully can't bear it.
SULLY
Ya don't have to do that.
Morrison shoots Sully a look, but McKay understands.
MCKAY
(compassionate, but bound by law) Handcuffs are army regulation.
Black Moon turns to Sully, his eyes telling him that he is without protest, at peace with his situation.
The privates whisk Black Moon into a tent. The flap closes.
Sully stares at the tent, dazed. The surrender is complete, a man's freedom vanquished in an instant.
SMITH
Byron Sully? You're a free man now.
Sully turns to him, still reeling.
SMITH
You're free to go.
Sully glances at Daniel -- they share a look of triumph.
Sully rides toward Smith, reaching down to shake his hand.
SULLY
It's good to see ya, air. Thank you.
SMITH
You're most welcome.
Sully rides past Morrison's cold glare and gallops out of the meadow with Daniel.
EXT. CLINIC - CONTINUOUS - DAY FIVE
Mike is now gathered with Matthew, Colleen, Brian, Katie, Dorothy, Robert E and Grace.
Sully and Daniel ride over and dismount. Sully moves into Mike's embrace and is then deluged with handshakes, hugs, and shouts of joy.
HANK
watches derisively from his porch.
SULLY
grins and lifts Katie in the air.
SULLY
Let's go home.
Mike beams, right by his side.
EXT. WOODS - LATER - DAY FIVE
On horseback, Cloud Dancing hears horses approach. He veers off the trail. Hidden, but within eavesdropping distance, he peers through the brush at
MORRISON, MCKAY AND A GROUP OF SOLDIERS
who ride up. Morrison reins his horse to a stop, to McKay's puzzlement. The other soldiers slow down.
MORRISON
We'll split up here.
MCKAY
Split up, air?
Morrison shows McKay on a map:
MORRISON
Send four of your men to meet the braves and escort them to the Tongue River. Lead the rest to Elmwood Canyon, we'll intercept the Indians there.
MCKAY
(confused) Intercept them?
MORRISON
I've studied the site. That canyon's perfect camouflage, it's heavily wooded. The braves can be taken completely by surprise.
McKay suddenly realizes Morrison's lethal intention and looks at him, chilled and disbelieving.
CLOUD DANCING
is equally stunned.
BACK TO MCKAY AND MORRISON
MCKAY
With all due respect, air, you signed an agreement -- a peaceful accord mandated by the Commander- in-Chief of the United States Armed Forces --
MORRISON
Do you think President Grant cares how the Indian problem is solved, Sergeant? This solution will eliminate the problem, with no possibility of reprisals.
CLOUD DANCING
listens with increasing alarm.
BACK TO MCKAY
looking Morrison in the eye, seething with anger.
MCKAY
I refuse to lead my men or to follow any orders you give in violation of the accord.
MORRISON
You won't have to, Sergeant. (to his soldiers) Take Sergeant McKay into custody.
MCKAY
No...
The TWO SOLDIERS nearby hesitate.
MORRISON
That's an order!
The soldiers move to McKay, who resists.
MCKAY
You can't do this!
The soldiers pull McKay off his horse.
MCKAY
What you're orderin' is murder!
Morrison is unfazed.
CLOUD DANCING
looks staggered by the turn of events.
EXT. TRAIL TO THE HOMESTEAD - DAY FIVE
Sully drives Mike, Colleen, Brian and Katie in the wagon, his horse tethered behind them. Matthew trots alongside. Sully slows and looks ahead a few hundred yards.
SULLY'S POV
It's the homestead, nestled in the woods.
SULLY
stares at the inviting haven.
SULLY
Ya can't imagine how long I been dreamin' bout this.
MIKE
(smiles) Oh, I believe I can.
Sully returns her smile and they drive on.
Suddenly, Cloud Dancing cuts into their path on his horse. The family reacts with surprise and concern.
CLOUD DANCING
(with urgency) The army -- they plan an ambush, Sully.
Sully and Mike share a shocked look.
MIKE
But the accord...
CLOUD DANCING
(shakes his head) I heard them in the woods. When McKay refused the Major's commands, he was arrested. The Major leads his soldiers now to massacre the braves.
Sully jumps out of the wagon and unties his horse.
SULLY
I gotta get to 'em first, take 'em another route to the Tongue River.
Mike nods, but this is all happening very fast.
MATTHEW
I'll go with ya.
MIKE
I'll ride back to town to inform Welland Smith.
Sully climbs onto his horse and looks at Mike, ready to leave. She looks back with dismay. Once again, their life together has been disrupted by a dangerous event. But Mike knows that they both have an obligation to intervene.
MIKE
Go, Sully. Hurry...
Sully nods and spurs his horse on. He gallops into the woods with Matthew and Cloud Dancing.
OFF Mike, watching with great apprehension as we...
FADE OUT.
END OF ACT THREE
ACT FOUR
EXT. TOWN - DAY FIVE
Mike races up Main Street on Flash, meeting Daniel as he rides back from the train station. Surprised to see her, he reads the desperation in her expression.
MIKE
Daniel, where's Welland Smith?
DANIEL
He just left. I saw 'im off on the train a few minutes ago.
MIKE
No... (explains, distraught) Major Morrison's broken the accord. He's ordered an ambush.
DANIEL
(takes this in, beat) We gotta stop the train.
Daniel tears out toward the tracks. Mike briefly hesitates -- stop the train? She gallops after him.
EXT. MEADOW - DAY FIVE
TWO SOLDIERS guard the prisoners' tent.
INT. PRISONERS' TENT - DAY FIVE
McKay and Black Moon are seated on opposite sides with their hands cuffed behind their backs. They do not interact, but both men are very aware of each other's presence and of the strange, grave turn their lives have taken.
McKay seethes, frustrated and disillusioned. Black Moon is exhausted. He begins to cough harshly.
McKay glances over at him. Black Moon looks back and controls his cough, unaware of the BLOOD trickling from his mouth.
McKay sees it and sits up.
MCKAY
You're sick.
Black Moon keeps quiet, but we can see McKay struggle for then slowly grasp the truth behind Black Moon's surrender.
They hear a GUARD pulling aside the tent flap. McKay responds quickly and turns to Black Moon with a hushed warning:
MCKAY
(indicating) Blood...
Black Moon understands and wipes his chin on his shoulder.
The guard enters. The two prisoners look solemn and composed.
GUARD
Everythin' alright, Sergeant?
MCKAY
Yes, everythin's fine. (beat) I'd like some water, Private.
GUARD
(turning to go) Yes, Sergeant.
MCKAY
An' some for the Indian.
Black Moon reacts. So does the guard, who hesitates, glancing back. Then he nods reluctantly and exits.
Black Moon gives McKay a relieved, grateful look. McKay looks back with compassion.
EXT. CLEARING - DAY FIVE
Morrison leads his brigade through the clearing and pauses to check his map, peering at the woods before them.
MORRISON
The canyon's a few miles North. when the braves pass through, we'll be right there to greet them.
The soldiers nod and ride on.
EXT. ANOTHER TRAIL IN THE WOODS - DAY FIVE
Sully, Matthew and Cloud Dancing race their horses along the trees. Sully slows and stares up at a steeper trail.
SULLY
It's a tricky climb, but it'll get us to the braves 'fore the army.
Matthew and Cloud Dancing agree and begin the careful ascent.
EXT. TRAIN TRACKS/COUNTRYSIDE - DAY FIVE
The train rattles along.
ANOTHER ANGLE
Ahead of the train, Daniel and Mike gallop at full clip from the brush and dismount quickly at the tracks.
THE TRAIN
roars their way, steam billowing.
DANIEL AND MIKE
rush onto the tracks and face the train, hands outstretched, urgently signaling for it to stop.
THE ENGINEER
gapes at them incredulously and sounds the whistle in warning.
DANIEL AND MIKE
hold their ground in defiance.
THE TRAIN
speeds closer.
DANIEL AND MIKE
swallow hard, but do not budge.
THE ENGINEER
yanks on the brake.
ANGLE - THE WHEELS OF THE TRAIN
screech and grind the tracks, sending up a spray of sparks as we...
CUT TO:
EXT. WOODS - DAY FIVE
Having reached the Indians before the soldiers, Sully, Matthew and Cloud Dancing are imploring them to move on. But the braves are angered by the army's betrayal.
SULLY
You can still make it to Cheyenne Territory if we go now on another trail.
INDIAN LEADER
We will stay here and fight.
CLOUD DANCING
No. Black Moon does not want more bloodshed.
MATTHEW
That's right. He surrendered his freedom so you could have yours.
INDIAN LEADER
He surrendered his freedom in vain -- to those who would betray him! We must avenge the white man's deception.
CLOUD DANCING
Enough fighting. You should have gone North after escaping the reservation. Now, you have another chance to live in peace.
SULLY
But ya gotta leave 'fore it's too late.
MORRISON (O.S.)
It is too late.
Sully and the others swing their heads to find themselves surrounded as Morrison and his brigade ride out of the woods with their guns drawn.
SULLY
Morrison, we have a deal.
Morrison glares contemptuously at Sully, who glares right back.
MORRISON
And you just won your pardon, Sully. You'd best stay out of trouble.
MATTHEW
You got two witnesses to worry 'bout.
MORRISON
Witness to what? An Indian insurrection?
SULLY
What're you talkin' about? These men were headin' North, accordin' to the pact.
But Morrison has a self-serving description prepared.
MORRISON
And during the trip, they suddenly turned on my soldiers and attacked.
MATTHEW
That's a lie!
SULLY
You can't get away with that.
MORRISON
(cool) Who would question the deaths of two Indian sympathizers, traitors who assisted the braves, rebellion? After all, you've helped the Indians revolt before... haven't you, Sully?
Sully smolders.
MORRISON
Step aside.
Sully and Matthew trade tense glances, but hold their ground. Morrison signals his soldiers. They raise their guns.
CLOUD DANCING
Sully...
Sully and Matthew brace themselves. The soldiers take aim, when:
SMITH (O.S.)
Put down your weapons!
Smith and Daniel (with guns raised) ride up with Mike, who exchanges relieved looks with Sully, Matthew and Cloud Dancing.
SMITH
(to Morrison) Perhaps you were unclear, Major, as to the terms of our treaty. Your soldiers are meant to escort the Indians, not slaughter them.
Morrison reacts.
SMITH
You are hereby relieved of command.
MORRISON
You don't have the authority.
SMITH
I have the full authority given me by our Commander-in-Chief. Now step down, air.
Morrison bristles -- and buckles.
ANGLE ON - MIKE
as she rides over to Matthew and Sully, all of them grateful to be together.
ANGLE - SMITH AND DANIEL
SMITH
Sheriff, would you please detain the major in your jail and release Sergeant McKay once you return to town?
DANIEL
Be my honor, sir.
Daniel moves toward Morrison.
MATTHEW
I'll go with ya, Daniel.
SMITH
And this time, I'll accompany the braves to ensure their safety. I'd hate to be yanked off another train.
He glances at Daniel, who smiles.
ANGLE - SULLY AND MIKE
SULLY
(quietly) I'd like to ride up North with 'em.
Mike nods, understanding. She turns to Smith.
MIKE
Mr. Smith? Two more riders...
Sully reacts with surprise.
MIKE
(to Smith, but glancing toward Sully) If you don't mind the company.
Sully smiles at her -- on the contrary.
SMITH
I'd be delighted.
As everyone around them organizes, Mike and Sully don't take their eyes off each other.
INT. PRISONERS' TENT - DAY FIVE
Black Moon stares off with a faraway look, drained of energy. McKay looks up, surprised, as Daniel enters with the guard.
DANIEL
Sergeant, you've been reinstated.
The guard releases McKay, then exits. McKay and Daniel look toward Black Moon. He lifts his eyes weakly toward them.
DANIEL
Your people are safe now.
Black Moon smiles faintly, grateful. An awkward beat. McKay and Daniel leave Black Moon alone.
BLACK MOON
lets out a long sigh, finding great comfort in his braves' safety. He leans back, slowly closing his eyes, his head falling to his shoulder as the life flickers out of him...
EXT. HILLTOP - DAY FIVE
Leading the line of braves on horseback, Cloud Dancing, Mike, Sully and Smith ride to the crest of the hill and pause.
Cloud Dancing admires the beautiful valley below and the hills in the distance. He turns to his people.
CLOUD DANCING
(in Cheyenne) Beyond those hills lies freedom.
The Indians ride after him, inspired.
SULLY
(turns to Smith, translating) He said beyond those hills lies freedom.
Smith nods, pleased, then moves on.
Sully looks at Mike. He reaches out his hand. She grasps it tightly. Tears of relief and happiness well in her eyes.
MIKE
Freedom.
Sully smiles.
Together, they ride down into the valley, joining the others as we slowly...
FADE OUT.
THE END


 

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