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DR. QUINN, MEDICINE WOMAN
"The Pilot"
Written by Beth Sullivan
Directed by Jeremy Kagan


Cast List
MICHAELA QUINN
BYRON SULLY

CHARLOTTE COOPER
COLLEEN COOPER
MATTHEW COOPER
BRIAN COOPER

REVEREND TIMOTHY JOHNSON
LOREN BRAY
MAUDE BRAY
HANK LAWSON
JAKE SLICKER
HORACE BING
MYRA
ROBERT E.
EMILY DONOVAN
BLACK KETTLE
COL. CHIVINGTON

ANIMALS: WOLF

ACT ONE
FADE IN:
OMITTED 1 - 4
A WOMAN'S VOICE
Warm, rich-toned, plays over...
A MONTAGE OF DAGUERREOTYPES:
PHOTO - BEACON HILL - DAY (STOCK-STILL)
Beacon Hill's fashionable Louisburg square, Mount Vernon Street. The small village green is shrouded in white, its many cobblestone street, lined with stately four-storey townhouses. THE CAMERA PUSHES in on number "10".
MICHAELA (V.O.)
I was born in Boston, Massachusetts on February 15,1833.
PHOTO - QUINN FAMILY PORTRAIT - DAY 4B
A formal portrait of a family of seven. The father and mother are seated, the children, all female, lined up behind them, except for the youngest, seated on the father's knee. CLOSER on the smiling, charismatic patriarch...
MIKE (V.O.)
My father was a physician of excellent repute, possessed of wit, charm and an amiable disposition.
... MOVING to the austere matriarch...
MIKE (V.O.)
My mother was made of sterner stuff, though a fine homemaker and an authority on rose gardening.
... and CONTINUING across the line of four girls, ranging in age from nine to sixteen...
MIKE (V.O.)
I was the last of five children, the four before me all girls. My father, being a man of science, firmly believed that the odds would finally dictate the birth of a long-awaited son. He would be name Michael.
... COMING TO REST on the pretty little girl on daddy's knee...
MIKE (V.O.)
I was named Michaela
PHOTO - DR. QUINN - MIKE - IN HORSE BUGGY - DAY 4C
A picture of a one-horse buggy with a ten year-old Mike seated next to her father at the reins. She holds up his medical bag proudly.
MIKE (V.O.)
My father nicknamed me Mike, and from the beginning, he allowed me greater freedom than my sisters.
PHOTO - EXT. COLLEGE GRADUATION - DAY 4D
A graduation picture. Two dozen young women in caps and gown. CAMERA MOVES in on Mike.
MIKE (V.O.)
He encouraged me to attend medical school, but none would admit women. I finally received my M.D. from the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania, a fine Quaker institution and the first of its kind.
PHOTO - INT. SURGICAL THEATRE - DAY (STOCK-STILL) 4E
MIKE (V.O.)
I joined my father's practice, and for seven years we worked side-by-side until...
PHOTO - INT. PARLOUR - DAY 4F
Of an open casket. Mike's father lies in state ...
INT. PARLOUR - DAY 4G
SUPER: BOSTON, 1867
... as the picture comes to life. A solemn wake is in progress. The elegant room is filled with flowers and Boston's uppercrust, all dressed in the long, heavy fashion of the time, somber black for the occasion. The mourners file by the open casket. The family is last. Mike's sisters first, now grown women, then her mother, then Mike...
MIKE (V.O.)
My mother would say he spoiled me. I would say he gave me the freedom to be myself.
CLOSE ON MIKE
Tears stream down her cheeks. On impulse, she moves forward, bending to embrace her father, but her mother interrupts, pulling her back with an unspoken reproach. A look passes between them - her mother so contained, Mike so overflowing...
MIKE (V.O.)
My mother did not approve of any of this. She thought me headstrong and intemperate.
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. OFFICE - DAY 5
MIKE (V.O.)
And so I was...
Mike sits at one side of a large partner's desk. The other side is painfully empty. The room has been converted to an office-examining room, but it sits idle. The only SOUNDS are the ticking of a mantle clock, the crackling of the fire. Mike stares at nothing, waiting for something... when the door opens and her mother enters.
MOTHER
Enough is enough, Michaela. Your father is gone, and so are his patients.
MIKE
They were my patients, too.
MOTHER
(shakes her head)
Your father, God rest his soul, indulged you in a fantasy.
MIKE
I have a medical degree, Mother. That is not a fantasy.
MOTHER
In this world it is.
A beat, as Mike looks into her mother's ungiving eyes, then...
MIKE
Then perhaps I belong in a different world.
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. MIKE'S BEDROOM - DAY 6
Mike moves about the room collecting personal items: books, a stack of old letters, her framed medical degree, daguerreotypes - various family photos and one of a young man in Union uniform - lingering on them and the memories they evoke, as she places them in the suitcase. A MAID carefully packs Mike's clothes into a large truck.
MIKE (V.O.)
I found an advertisement in the Globe for a town doctor in the Colorado Territory.
Mike surveys the room for anything she might have forgotten, but it's stripped of all that is personal. The maid stops what she's doing and shares a sentimental look with Mike, who staves off tears by glancing back down at the suitcase - civilization packed into a leather valise...
INT. FOYER - DAY (LATER) 7
Mike, descends the staircase, past a gallery of family portraits, carrying the suitcase and her medical bag.
MIKE (V.O.)
I sent a telegram detailing my experience and qualifications. In less than a week, I received a return telegram, offering me the position.
At the base, she places it atop a large traveling trunk and goes to a door which has two small brass plaques hanging on hooks. The first reads "J. Quinn, M.D.", the second "M. Quinn, M.D." She runs her fingers loving across the first, then removes the latter.
MIKE (V.O.)
After careful consideration, I made up my mind to go West, where my services were needed, where my skills would be appreciated...
She turns to find her mother, standing in the archway to the parlour. The regard each other across a chasm of misunderstanding
MIKE
...where I might finally be accepted as a doctor
DISSOLVE TO:
OMITTED 8 - 10
EXT. KANSAS - DAY 11
The Great Plains. Flat, empty, grassy land as far as the eye can see.
MIKE (V.O.)
It was ten days by train to St. Louis, then seven more by stagecoach over trails that consisted of nothing more than two ruts in the grass.
A STAGECOACH
Rolls into view, pulled by six horses.
INT. STAGECOACH - DAY (SAME TIME) 12
Wrapped against the cold, Mike bumps along in the company of a pregnant young woman, EMILY, and her YOUNG SON, seated opposite, and a waistcoated "DANDY", sitting beside her. They're all tired and dirty, but resigned. The dandy does simple card tricks for the child. Mike and Emily share a smile over his pleasure.
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. ANOTHER ANGLE - FURTHER ON - DAY 12A
The dandy is asleep. So is Emily. The boy stares at Mike expectantly. She knows no card tricks. Instead, she rummages in her black medical bag and produces a stethoscope. She leans across and places the listening ends into his ears, then places the scope onto his chest.
His eyes open wide at the sound of his own heart. He listens... then smiles
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. ANOTHER ANGLE - FURTHER ON - DAY 12B
All of the other passengers are asleep, except for Mike. She stares out the window.
EXT. MIKE'S POV - DAY (SAME TIME - STOCK) 13
Prairie forever. But then, something appears on the horizon. Too small to make out, but growing larger on approach. Finally, it can be seen to be Indians, wearing skins and feathers, but no war colors.
INT. STAGECOACH - DAY (SAME TIME) 13A
MIKE (V.O.)
My father taught me that different customs, language or color of skin were not causes for prejudice or hostility. But as I saw real Indians for the first time, I could not reason with the knots in my stomach.
EXT. MIKE'S POV - SAME TIME - DAY / STOCK 14
Suddenly, the Indians reign up some hundred feet away. They sit on their fidgety horses and just watch the coach.
INT. STAGECOACH - DAY - SAME TIME 14A
Mike watches back, shaky, as the coach passes them without changing speed. She turns to look out the rear window and sees them recede in the distance, still sitting, still watching...
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. COLORADO TOWN - GENERAL STORE - DAY 15
The stagecoach rolls onto the short, rutted mainstreet of this rough, dreary frontier town. Stray dogs scatter, hitched horses spook. The spring thaw has everything knee-deep in mud, and swarms of flies hover on the manure.
The stage stops in front of "Bray's General Store".
The sour-faced proprietor, LOREN BRAY, has come to the door. Beside him appears his wife, MAUDE, every bit as dour. She wipes her hands on her apron and goes back inside.
The dandy is the first one out of the coach, holding the door for Mike, Emily and the boy. Legs are shaky from the long ride. There's no place to step but into the mud. Mike looks down at her highbutton shoes, disappearing into the muck. Appalled, she lifts one up with a slurp of suction. The shoe is ruined. Mike gives up and steps back down with a squish. She looks around, taking in the raw lines of the town, as its motley array of locals stare back at the newcomers.
EXT. MIKE'S POV / GENERAL STORE - DAY (SAME TIME)
The Pike mountains loom in the distance. There's also a feed store, a telegraph office, a barber shop, a livery stable, a saloon and a few other nondescript store fronts, all slapped together of rough-hewn plank wood. The stage driver tosses luggage from atop the coach down to the dandy and Bray. Mike's trunk is lowered into the mud. She tries to intercept it, but it's too late. Her suitcase is next, but she manages to get it and places it on the trunk, all the while holding tight to her black medical bag, which she carries with her at all times.
Emily and her son are greeted by her husband, a young man in a rumpled suit. He takes their boxes and walks them toward a rough clapboard house with a sign in the window advertising a tailor and seamstress. Emily's caught up in her husband, but the boy waves to Mike as they head off. She waves back, then looks around for any sign of someone there to greet her, but there's no one. She looks down at her skirts, dragging heavily in the mud. She lifts them slightly, making her way around to where the driver is conferring with Bray.
MIKE
(to Bray)
Pardon me. Where might I find Reverend Johnson?
BRAY
(gesturing)
Down to the church.
MIKE
Thank you.
(re: baggage)
May I leave those there for a while?
BRAY
Ya mean, will they be there when ya git back?
MIKE
Well, I....
BRAY
We're not all thieves on the frontier, Miss.
MIKE
No, of course not.
(quickly)
I was just concerned whether they'd be in anyone's way.
BRAY
Nope.
He goes back inside. She stares after him a beat, then trudges off, her shoes sucked into the mud with each step.
EXT. BARBER SHOP - (DAY) MOMENTS LATER 17
She walks past the barber shop, a crude candy cane pole stands by the door. The barber, JAKE SLICKER, leas against it. He tips his hat and smiles at Mike, as she goes by. She nods.
EXT. SALOON - (DAY) MOMENTS LATER 18
She passes the saloon, where two "bar girls", one a young redhead, MYRA, look out over the swinging doors, like captives. Mike smiles at them. They're amazed.
EXT. TREATY COUNCIL AREA - (DAY) MOMENTS LATER 19
Mike turns the corner to see an ordinary clapboard church with a cemetery on one side. However, the scene in the field on the other side is far from ordinary and certainly unlike anything Mike has ever seen... A hundred Cheyenne Indians sit atop skins to protect them from the wet grass. They're focused on a half-dozen white men, wearing military uniforms, and an equal number of Indian dignitaries, conferring through translators in front of a large teepee and an army regulation field tent, side-by-side. Smaller teepees line the periphery in the b.g.
AT THE CHURCH
Mike finds a rumpled, thirty-ish clergyman, REVEREND TIMOTHY JOHNSON, sleeves rolled up, hands dirty, at work painting the church.
MIKE
Pardon me...
(he stops)
Would you be Reverend Timothy Johnson?
REVEREND
(smiles)
How may I help you?
She returns the smile, offers her hand.
MIKE
I'm Michaela Quinn.
Something about the name rings a bell, as he awkwardly wipes his hands on a rag and reaches to shake her hand. She sees his confusion.
MIKE
(continuing)
M.D.
And that still doesn't do it...
MIKE
Your new doctor.
That does it all right. His hand drops. So does his smile. He glances down at her medical bag.
REVEREND
I'm afraid I don't understand... The telegram said Michael Quinn.
MIKE
No... I believe I spelled it out quite clearly. That's Michael with an 'a'. My father was expecting a male.
REVEREND
So was I.
He stares at her, genuinely distressed. She stares back, trying not to let on her concern.
REVEREND
Please come with me.
MIKE
Certainly.
He heads for the main street. Michaela falls in beside him, fighting the mud to keep pace. She glances back at the Indians.
MIKE
What's going on?
REVEREND
(a look)
Treaty Council. Union Colonel Chivington and Cheyenne Chief Black Kettle. The Army's negotiating with the Indians for the land north of Sand Creek.
She has no idea where that might be, but looks back over her shoulder, focusing on the two men at the center of attention...
MIKE'S POV
Of a bearish, bearded man in Union uniform, COLONEL CHIVINGTON, and a high-cheeked Indian, wearing chief's feathers woven through his black braids, CHIEF BLACK KETTLE... Next to the chief is a white man...
BYRON SULLY
... dressed in half-western/half-Indian clothes, ruggedly handsome. Beside him sits a large grey timber wolf.
Not watching where she's going, Mike steps in a chug hole and goes sprawling in the mud. The Reverend is quick to try to help her up, but she struggles back to her feet on her own, thoroughly embarrassed.
REVEREND
Are you alright?
MIKE
Fine, thank you.
She looks down at her mud-smeared dress, makes a futile gesture to wipe it with her also-muddy hands, then gives up and wipes them on the back of her dress.
MIKE
Just fine.
And, with as much authority as she can muster, she starts for town. The Reverend shakes his head to himself and follows.
INT. TELEGRAPH OFFICE - DAY (MOMENTS LATER) 20
The telegraph clerk, HORACE, sits at a cluttered toll-top desk when Mike and the Reverend enter Horace registers Mike's dishevelled appearance, but makes no comment.
HORACE
What kin I do fer ya, Revren?
REVEREND
That telegram you received from the doctor in Boston?...
HORACE
Yep?...
REVEREND
How was it signed?
HORACE
Whatcha mean?
REVEREND
You didn't change anything?
HORACE
'Course not.
The Reverend looks at Mike, momentarily triumphant, but then...
HORACE
'Cept for that 'nitial.
The Reverend turns back to him.
HORACE
Didn't think ya'd give a hoot what his middle name was.
It sinks in.
MIKE
The middle initial didn't happen to be an "a", did it?
HORACE
(impressed)
That's right, young lady.
She turns to the Reverend, whose lips purse, as Horace rattles on.
HORACE
Them Easterners always trying to make ev'rythin' fancy. I jus' like to keep things simple. Yessir, that's my motto, keep it simple.
The Reverend leaves without a work, to Horace's surprise. Mike follows.
OMITTED 21 - 21A
EXT. COOPER HOUSE - DAY (SHORT TIME LATER) 22
Mike trudges through the mud toward the boarding house, the Reverend following her now.
REVEREND
This is most embarrassing, Miss Quinn. I want to apologize for the inconvenience. We will, of course, pay your way back to Boston.
MIKE
That won't be necessary, thank you. Colorado Springs needs a doctor, and I happen to be one.
She knocks on the door.
REVEREND
You don't understand. No one's ever heard of a lady doctor out here.
MIKE
There's always a first time.
REVEREND
But Miss, there are no respectable single women in Colorado Springs.
MIKE
That's a shame, Reverend. Every town should have a t least one.
They arrive at the door, and she KNOCKS decisively.
REVEREND
(flustered, gesturing)
Widow Cooper doesn't allow lady boarders.
The door is opened by a good-looking teenager, MATTHEW.
REVEREND
(to Matthew)
Fetch your mother.
MATTHEW
(calls behind him)
Ma!
Nine year-old BRIAN COOPER appears.
MATTHEW
(to Brian)
Where's Ma?
CHARLOTTE (O.S.)
Comin'.
Momentarily, CHARLOTTE COOPER appears at a side door to the kitchen. She's a handsome, no-nonsense woman, early forties. Beside her appears twelve year-old COLLEEN COOPER. They can't help but notice Mike's mud-caked dress.
CHARLOTTE
Reverend?
REVEREND
Charlotte, there's been a terrible mistake.
MIKE
Just a small misunderstanding, really.
REVEREND
I thought Miss Quinn was a man. I mean, I assumed when she answered the ad that she was a doctor.
MIKE
I am a doctor.
Charlotte takes this in, sizing Mike up, ultimately accepting in a matter-of-fact manner...
CHARLOTTE
So you're the new doctor.
REVEREND
Now, that's not...
MIKE
(ignores him)
Yes, I am.
(extending her hand)
Michaela Quinn, M.D.
Charlotte shakes it, stoic.
CHARLOTTE
Charlotte Cooper... and these are my kids, Matthew, Colleen and Brian.
BRIAN
(to Mike)
Your dress is dirty.
CHARLOTTE
Brian...
REVEREND
(to Charlotte)
I told Miss Quinn you only take gentleman boarders.
CHARLOTTE
Don't have a rule.
(to Matthew)
You go on and help the Reverend with the Doc's luggage.
The Reverend realizes he's been dismissed. Mike follows Charlotte inside, with Brian and Colleen flanking her.
INT. KITCHEN - DAY 22A
BRIAN
(to Mike)
You're a real doctor?
MIKE
That's right.
COLLEEN
You went to college and everything?
MIKE
(smiles)
And everything.
OMITTED 23
INT. MIKE'S ROOM - DAY 24
Charlotte shows Mike, carrying her suitcase, into a plain room with only a single bed, a writing table and straight-backed chair, one kerosene lamp and a chest of drawers. Matthew follows with her trunk. He clunks it down and goes out.
CHARLOTTE
Got some of the soldiers stayin' here durin' the treaty council.
(a beat as she looks around the room)
It ain't Boston.
MIKE
It's very nice, thank you.
Charlotte nods, then closes the door behind her. Mike stares at it a beat, then looks around the sparse room and finally down at her filthy dress. Her show of strength falters. But then, intent on not being discouraged, she goes to her suitcase and takes out several items and arranges them on the chest -- some books, the family photo, the other of the young uniformed man, and, finally, her framed medical degree...
INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT 25
The Cooper boys are seated at a long plank table with three military offices, one of them the uniformed Colonel Chivington from the treaty council, and Mike, cleaned up now and wearing a fresh dress. The parties sit stiffly, silently, as Charlotte and Colleen enter from the kitchen carrying a pot of hot stew and a bowl of biscuits. They put the food in the middle and take their seats. Charlotte bows her head and delivers the grace...
CHARLOTTE
(continuing)
Thank you, Lord.
...so quickly, it's never an issue if there's a non-believer in the midst. Mike does a double-take, as Charlotte passes the stew. Everyone begins to eat in silence, but Mike's accustomed to conversation at meals...
MIKE
(to Chivington)
So, Captain Chivington, how is the treaty progressing?
The other two officers look at him. He stops eating and glares at her.
CHIVINGTON
Colonel Chivington
MIKE
I beg your pardon.
He starts to go back to his meal.
MIKE
And the Indians?
He looks up at her like she's a fly buzzing him.
CHIVINGTON
Only reason I gotta sit out there in the dirt is 'cause Congress' been listenin' to a bunch of bleedin' hearts who never laid eyes on an Indian.
Charlotte and the children look to Mike, who keeps her cool.
MIKE
I believe their reasoning is that the Indians were here first.
CHIVINGTON
They're standin' in the way of progress, Miss.
MIKE
Progress for whom, Sir?
CHIVINGTON
Everybody!
(then cold, measured)
I am fully satisfied that to kill the red rebels is the only way to have peace and quiet.
He stabs his fork into his stew. Mike looks as though she might respond, but Charlotte heads her off...
CHARLOTTE
So, Doc, you engaged?
This catches Mike off-guard, to say the least.
MIKE
I was once.
CHARLOTTE T
here's twenty men for every woman out here.
Mike glances over at the three men with distaste.
MIKE
Really?
CHARLOTTE
Yep.
Now it's Mike's turn to change the subject.
MIKE
(to Charlotte)
Where might I find the newspaper office?
CHARLOTTE
You'd have to be goin' to Denver to do that.
MIKE
Oh...Well, how does one post an advertisement?
CHARLOTTE
Bray's store... Pretty much everything goes through there one time or other.
OMITTED 26 - 27
EXT. BABER SHOP - NEXT DAY 27A
As Mike and Charlotte approach the general store, Jake Slicker can be seen through the doors, giving the Reverend a haircut. Only Slicker can see them coming.
SLICKER
Shoulda listened to me in the first place, Reverend. Colorado Springs don't need no doctor.
REVEREND
She won't take no for an answer. What can I do?
SLICKER
(looking right at Mike)
Ya just put her on the next stage right back where she come from.
Mike and Charlotte exchange a look, then step onto the walkway.
MIKE
Good morning, gentlemen.
The Reverend turns and stammers an embarrassed greeting, but Slicker just smiles.
SLICKER
'Mornin', ladies.
Mike and Charlotte pass on by. Charlotte shakes her head.
CHARLOTTE
He's pulled a few teeth, lanced a few boils, and he thinks that makes him a doctor.
MIKE
I see. Competition.
CHARLOTTE
And from a woman. Only doctorin' allowed to women 'round here is midwifin'. Lucky for you, the midwife's a reasonable woman.
MIKE
That's a relief. I'd like to meet her.
CHARLOTTE
Already have
EXT. GENERAL SOTRE -DAY (SAME TIME) 27 B
Mike mulls this, as they pause at the door.
MIKE
You?
Charlotte nods, opens the door for Mike. They go inside...
INT. GENERAL STORE - DAY (SAME TIME) 28
...where Loren scowls at them from behind the counter. Maude and a woman shopper whisper. Chivington is there, also, with the two other officers. They join in the dirty looks. Mike reacts.
Charlotte leads Mike to the rear wall where a crude bulletin board, made literally of boards, if filled with clippings from the Denver Herald, a few "Wanted" posters and many notices, some of which look years old, yellowed with age. Across the top hangs a wooden sign on two pegs, "NO DOGS OR INDIANS". Bray hurries over.
BRAY
What's the problem, Charlotte?
CHARLOTTE
No problem, Loren. The doctor here just wants to post a notice.
BRAY
No room.
CHARLOTTE
(scans the notices)
Seems to me some of these have outlived the people who put 'em up.
BRAY
Sorry, Charlotte, but none of those notices seen its day.
Charlotte is about to comment, when...
SULLY
...enters with his wolf and Chief Black Kettle. Sully is an enigmatic loner, an impressive figure of a man with dark, penetrating eyes. He sports a sharp-headed tomahawk, its carved, feathered handle wedged into his belt. Capable of striking fear in the hears of the locals, he's clearly a legend around these parts.
Mike watches him scan the room, self-assured. No one will look him in the eye, except for Chivington. Bray clears his throat loudly and points self-righteously at the sign, "NO DOGS OR INDIANS".
MIKE
looks, then impulsively reaches up and removes the sign from the board.
MIKE
Here's one that's seen its day, Mr. Bray.
BRAY
What d'ya think yer doin'?!
She ignores him. He looks around, frustrated, his eyes lighting on Chivington, who gladly steps forward. He yanks the sign away from mike roughly.
CHIVINGTON
That's private property, Miss.
He turns to hand it back on the board, when suddenly there's a WHOOSHING SOUND and ...
SULLY'S TOMAHAWK
...breaks the sign in two, driven into the board just inches from Chivington's fingers. Chivington whirls, drawing his gun, furious. He aims at Sully. The wolf growls menacingly. Chivington turns the gun toward the wolf. But to his frustration, he knows this isn't the time or the place. Slowly, he lowers and re-holsters his gun.
He walks out, right past Sully and Black Kettle, followed by the other two officers.
Sully retrieves his tomahawk, exchanging a look with Mike as he does. She finds it unsettling and returns to her talk, replacing the sign with her notice:
"WANTED: PERMANENT LODGINGS ALSO SUITABLE FOR MEDICAL PRACTICE"
BACK TO:
Charlotte takes Mike's elbow, steering her toward the door.
CHARLOTTE
Time to go get you that horse, Doc.
MIKE
What horse?
CHARLOTTE
That one you'll be needin' to get 'round to all your patients.
MIKE
Oh... That horse.
Charlotte leads her out, past Sully and Black Kettle.
MIKE
Good morning, gentlemen.
She pats the wolf on the head. It's hard to tell who's more surprised, the wolf or Sully. Black Kettle nods, as the women leave the store.
EXT. GENERAL STORE - DAY (SAME TIME) 29
Charlotte leads Mike toward the Livery.
CHARLOTTE
Bein' a doctor's one thing. Bein' a woman's another. And being an unmarried lady's another. That's enough black marks to last you a spell... Mind you, I think what you did was right, but 'round here folks think the only good Indian is a dead Indian.
MIKE
But this country just fought a war to prove we're all created equal.
EXT. LEVER - DAY (SAME TIME) 29A
They arrive at the Livery.
CHARLOTTE
I hate to tell you, Doc, but nobody out here much cared about that war. They were too busy fightin' Indians.
EXT. LIVERY - DAY (SAME TIME) 30
A black smithy, ROBERT E., hammers a red-hot horse shoe. The stalls behind him house several horses. Mike and Charlotte enter.
CHARLOTTE
"Mornin', Robert E.
His name gets a notice from Mike. He nods to Charlotte, eyeing Mike disapprovingly. News travels fast in a town this size.
CHARLOTTE
You aim to sell any of those?
She gestures toward the horses
ROBERT E.
Who's buyin'?
CHARLOTTE
Just asked a simple question.
A beat, then he points begrudgingly.
ROBERT E.
Chestnut and the pinto.
The pinto is younger and prettier than the shaggy old chestnut, who whinnies and nuzzles Mike. She responds, stroking the horse's front notch, but then turns her attention to Charlotte's examination of the pinto. Mike doesn't know what she's talking about, but does her best to fake it...
CHARLOTTE
Good withers.
MIKE
Very good.
CHARLOTTE
Strong back.
MIKE
Excellent back.
Charlotte lifts the horse's lip, revealing big, yellowed teeth. Mike recoils, tries to cover.
MIKE
Wonderful teeth.
Charlotte shoots her a look.
CHARLOTTE
They're rotten.
MIKE
Well, yes. A little.
Charlotte nods skeptically. Mike turns to the chestnut, who nuzzles her again.
MIKE
(continuing)
I like this one.
CHARLOTTE
She's old.
MIKE
But she has heart.
Charlotte shakes her head.
EXT. LIVERY - DAY (SAME TIME) 31
They exit, Charlotte leading the old chestnut, now saddled up.
CHARLOTTE
You know how to ride?
MIKE
Do I know how to ride?
CHARLOTTE
Do you?
Mike looks at Charlotte, then at the horse, then back at Charlotte.
MIKE
Watch me.
She goes to the horse, hikes her skirts as discreetly as possible, then manages to get her left foot up into the stirrup. Now she starts hopping on her right foot, trying to build the momentum to swing her leg up. Just when it seems as though she'll stand there hopping until dark, she's whisked up off the ground and into the saddle. She turns to find Sully standing there with his wolf.
He reaches into his pocket and offers Mike the notice she posted in the store.
MIKE
(confused)
You took it down?
SULLY
Nope... I'm answerin' it.
MIKE
doesn't know what to make of this.
EXT. COUNTRYSIDE - DAY (LATER) 31A
Mike's perched precariously on her new horse. Even though she's only at a walking pace, she hangs onto the saddlehorn, Sully and the wolf are on foot beside her.
EXT. THE HOMESTEAD - DAY (LATER) 32
An abandoned, run-down farm outside of town, consisting of a little cabin and a barn. Mike takes a look around. The place is a wreck, they're in the middle of nowhere, and Sully's more than a little mysterious. She does her best to mask her discomfort. She starts to get off her horse, but slips the stirrup and falls most of the way, landing on her butt. She looks up at him, but he makes no move to help her.
SULLY
Gotta learn to make it on your own if you're gonna survive.
MIKE
Precisely.
She gets to her feet and goes to the cabin, struggles with the door a moment, but then manages to push it open. She takes a look inside, then comes back to Sully.
MIKE
How much?
SULLY
Dollar a month.
A beat, as Mike looks at the bleak homestead.
MIKE
I'll take it.
She rummages in her bag and produces her brass name plaque, "M. QUINN, M.D.". She goes and holds it up beside the door.
MIKE
What do you think?
A beat
SULLY
Ain't much of a shingle.
And with that, he and the wolf walk off. She stares after them a moment, then turns back and hangs the plaque on a loose nail. She steps back. It's not Boston, but it's a beginning...
FADE OUT:
END OF ACT ONE
ACT TWO
FADE IN:
OMITTED 33 - 34A
EXT. COUNTRYSIDE - DAY 35
A glorious day, sunny and crisp. An open meadow, all new-green and wild flowers, ringed by woods. The mountains in the distance are still capped with snow. The buckboard rolls into view, Mike and Charlotte up front and the kids in the back with Mike's luggage various supplies and a slatted crate of chickens.
EXT. COUNTRYSIDE / ANGLE ON BUCKBOARD SEAT - DAY (SAME TIME)
CHARLOTTE
For the life of me, I don't know how you found your way back into town by yourself. I'd like to wring Sully's neck.
MIKE
Is that his name?
CHARLOTTE
He didn't even tell you his name?
CHARLOTTE
Well... Not likely that would happen. If there's one thing Sully is, he's a man of his word.
MIKE
Why doesn't he live on his homestead?
CHARLOTTE
Sully was a miner come here in '59 with the Pike's Peak rush. He fell in love with Loren's daughter, Abigail.
MIKE
(surprised)
The store keeper?
CHARLOTTE
That's right.
MIKE
But he acted like he didn't even know Sully.
CHARLOTTE
Abigail died givin' birth to their first child.
Mike takes this in, then glances at Charlotte, concerned.
CHARLOTTE
I did everything I could. What she needed was a doctor, but by the time we got her to Denver, she was gone.
Her voice wavers slightly, in spite of her efforts.
CHARLOTTE
Anyways, Loren blames Sully. He's just a bitter old man and wants somebody to take it out on.
She signals the horses with the reins, turning the wagon away from the river and toward the meadow where the farm stands waiting for them.
OMITTED 37
INT. HOMESTEAD - CABIN - DAY (MOMENTS LATER) 38
Mike enters the simple on-room house and looks around at it's homemade furniture -- bed, rocker, table, chairs, cupboards -- lingering next to a little cradle by the woodburning cookstove. There's still a kettle on top, as if the place is frozen in time, sealed with a layer of dust. Mike runs her finger across the top of the stove thoughtfully, then wipes the dirt on her skirt and goes back outside...
EXT. HOMESTEAD - CABIN - DAY (SAME TIME) 38A
... where she pitches in to help carry the trunk back...
INT. HOMESTEAD / CABIN - DAY (SAME TIME) 38B
... to the foot of the bed, placing it next to a cedar hope chest. Matthew goes out. Colleen puts some groceries down on the table, sending up a puff of dust.
COLLEEN
Sure is dirty.
CHARLOTTE
That's what we're here for.
She hands the girl a bucket and scrub brush. Mike has found a thatch broom and starts sweeping, stirring up the dust into a cloud. They watch her a moment and smile.
CHARLOTTE
Ever used a broom before?
Mike stops, looks up defensively.
MIKE
Have I ever used a broom before?
CHARLOTTE
Like the horse, huh?
MIKE
(embarrassed)
We had servants.
Brian enters, carrying heavy buckets of water balanced on a shoulder yoke. He sets them down. Matthew can be seen through the door, outside chopping wood.
CHARLOTTE
Here...
She gets a cup and dips it in the water, then uses her fingers to fling some sprinkles at the floor, settling the dust. She hands the cup to Mike, who does the same, then sweeps again, this time with better results.
Meanwhile, Brian has opened Mike's medical bag and holds up her reflex mallet.
BRIAN
What's this?
CHARLOTTE
Brian, put that back.
MIKE
(to Charlotte)
No, it's all right.
(to Brian)
As long as you're careful.
Matthew enters with an armload of firewood.
BRIAN
(re: mallet)
Looks like a tomahawk.
MATTHEW
(to Brian)
Everything looks Indian to you.
COLLEEN
(to Mike)
Brian's Cheyenne crazy.
BRIAN
Sully's got a tomahawk
MIKE
So I've seen.
Mike stops sweeping and comes over to Brian, as Matthew begins stacking the wood by the stove. She takes the mallet.
MIKE
It's for testing reflexes. Watch.
She hoists Brian up to sit on the table, his legs dangling over the edge. She taps his knee with the mallet, causing his lower leg to jump.
BRIAN
Hey!... Do that again.
She does
COLLEEN
What do reflexes do?
MIKE
They tell me something about your brain.
MATTHEW
(scoffs)
His knee tells you about his head. Sounds like a lot of malarkey.
COLLEEN (to Matthew)
What d'you know?
(to Mike)
Come on.
Colleen takes her by the hand and leads her outside.
OMITTED 39 - 41
INT. BARN - DAY (LATER)
Colleen enters with Mike. They approach the chickens, now roosting in old boxes in a corner.
COLLEEN
They're mean, chickens are. You gotta trick 'em into leavin' their nests...
She reaches up into a feed pal and tosses some grain on the ground. The chickens go after it.
COLLEEN
... then you can take the eggs without getting' pecked.
She gestures for Mike to check the roosting boxes. She does and finds and egg, holding it up with a smile.
OMITTED 43
EXT. HOMESTEAD / CABIN - DAY (LATER) 44
The Coopers are loaded into the buckboard, and the horses are hitched up. Mike stands next to the wagon. Matthew's at the reins with Charlotte beside him. Brian and Colleen are in the back. Mike takes Charlotte's hand.
MIKE
I can't thank you all enough.
CHARLOTTE
No need for thanks. What you need is luck.
(looks around, concerned)
It ain't gonna be easy, doc.
Matthew clucks to the horses, and the wagon pulls away. Colleen waves. Mike waves back, walking along after them.
ANOTHER ANGLE
Mike stops and watches the wagon turn to follow the creek, disappearing behind the trees. She stares after it. For the first time, she's completely alone in this wilderness.
MIKE (V.O.)
Charlotte was right. I had never even cooked or cleaned before, let alone chopped wood or hauled water. The only work I know was doctoring. I know nothing of the daily hardships these people took for granted.
INT. HOMESTEAD - CABIN - NIGHT 45
By candlelight, Mike wearily finishes making the bed, leaning down to tuck the covers in at the foot, right next to the hope chest. She stops, stares at it a beat, then kneels down and carefully lifts the lid. On one side is a stack of hand-sewn, hand-knit, unused baby clothes. Mike reacts, running her fingertips over a tiny sweater... On the other side is a family album. Mike turns the pages -- a bouquet of pressed wildflowers; a white lace hankie; a wedding photo of a clean-shaven, dressed-up Sully standing in formal pose beside a delicate, dark-haired woman in a simple wedding gown.
ON SULLY
in the picture. Looking a bit uncomfortable, but very handsome.
Suddenly, Mike feels like an intruder. She closes the album and then the hope chest... so many hopes unrealized.
She opens her own trunk instead and unpacks a few items -- a lace-collared grey damask dress, pretty, but businesslike, a felt hat, gloves and high-button shoes, laying them on the bed in a caricature of herself, then standing back to judge the effect. She chokes up at the sight. The contrast between the refined outfit and the start cabin speaks volumes about the culture shock and self-doubt Mike is suffering...
DISSOLVE TO:
OMITTED 46 - 50
EXT. CHURCH - DAY 51
The townsfolk gather for Sunday services, shooting uneasy looks in the direction of the Indian encampment.
EXT. TREATY COUNCIL AREA - DAY (SAME TIME) 51A
Mike rides into sight, wearing the grey dress and accessories, drawing looks from the Indians.
She's uncomfortably aware of the attention, realizing that the churchgoers, including Chivington and the other officers, are watching , too. She notices...
EXT. TREATY COUNCIL AREA - MIKE'S POV - DAY (SAME TIME) 51B
... Sully sitting by a fire with Chief Black Kettle, who leans toward Sully and confers with him, obviously about her.
EXT. CHURCH - DAY (SAME TIME) 51C
She hurries her horse to the church, where everyone pretends to go about their business. Only the very pregnant Emily smiles and waves, but her husband literally pulls her hand out of the air and leads her away. To Mike's relief, the Coopers approach. Matthew gets waylaid by some pretty teenage girls, but Charlotte comes up with Colleen and Brian.
COLLEEN
You sure look grand.
CHARLOTTE
(critical)
Grand enough to be in Boston.
Mike glances around. No one is dressed even nearly as nice as she. No hat so fancy, no shoes so new, no collar so white. Mike gets the message. She takes off her pretty hat and gloves and reluctantly puts them into her saddle bag, trying not to crush them as she does -- an impossible task. She turns for Charlotte's appraisal.
CHARLOTTE
That'll have to do.
They start through the crowd. Charlotte introduces Mike to some folks -- "Meet the new Doc," -- and Mike introduces herself to others -- "How do you do, I'm Dr. Quinn."... A few people are barely polite. The others make no pretence, snubbing her openly, treating her like a pariah. This includes Loren Bray, His wife, Maude, and Hake Slicker and his wife, a small, mousey woman. They pass Mike by as if she wasn't there.
She keeps her chin up for appearances, but she's hurting.
SUDDENLY
there's a commotion from the direction of main street. The bartender, HANK, yells out...
HANK
Hey, Slicker, got a shot fella here!
Instinctively, Mike starts toward them, but Slicker steps ahead of her, as do Chivington and the officers. The other townspeople follow and she mush push her way through them.
EXT. SALOON 51D
The churchgoers converge on a gathering of 'saloon goers' -- cowboys, drifters, the redheaded Myra and the other bar girl -- focused on a wounded man lying on the ground.
HANK
(to Slicker)
He caught a ricochet slug out hunting.
Mike steps forward.
MIKE
I'm a doctor.
They all ignore her, as Slicker bends down, probes the man's shoulder would roughly. The man groans. Slicker stands.
SLICKER
Git him over to the shop.
A couple of the men pick him up and carry him toward the barber shop, Slicker and most of the crowd following. Mike is left standing with Myra and the other bar girl. Hank turns to them and in a tone reserved for stray dogs...
HANK
You women, go on, git!... Shoo!
A look of empathy passes between Mike and Myra, before the latter turns and goes back in the saloon.
EXT. BARBER SHOP - DAY (MOMENTS LATER) 51E
Mike comes up behind the crowd watching Slicker prepare to remove the bullet. Maude, out of breath and abnormally flushed, breaks away to fan herself with her hankie. Then her face twists with pain and she clutches at her chest.
Mike springs into action, hurrying to catch Maude as she starts to collapse. Mike eases Maude to the ground, then quickly opens her medical bag and dons her stethoscope. She applies the end tot he semi-conscious Maude's chest. It takes a moment for the others to realize what's going on, but then...
LOREN
Look here!...
He yanks the stethoscope from her.
LOREN
Get away from my wife!
Mike grabs the stethoscope back.
MIKE
Your wife is ill.
Loren wrestles Maude away from Mike and pulls her to her feet.
LOREN
It's just one of her spells.
MIKE
Her heart is pounding.
LOREN
'Course it is.
(to Maude)
Yer alright, ain't ya?
She sees Mike and forces herself to rally...
MAUDE
Just all the 'citement.
With effort, she brushes her skirt off, straightens her hat.
MIKE
(to Maude)
You have an arrhythmia...
Loren interrupts, hustling Maude off and into their store...
LOREN
Mind your own business!
MIKE
(after him)
This is my business.
... but the door slams behind them. Just then, an agonized howl comes from the barber shop. Mike looks over toward the wounded man, then back to where Maude just disappeared, powerless to help either one...
EXT. CHURCH - DAY (LATER) 51F
Mike is the first to return to the church. As she nears, she sees...
MIKE'S POV - SULLY
... in the cemetery, kneeling down in prayer before two hand-carved crosses.
EXT. CHRCH - CEMETERY - DAY (SAME TIME) 52
The wolf sees Mike. His awareness transfers immediately to Sully, who looks up, unruffled, stands. Mike takes this as permission to approach.
MIKE
There are some things in the cabin that belong to you.
SULLY
Nothin' I want.
He heads off with the wolf.
MIKE
(after him)
What did Chief Black Kettle say to you when I rode by?
Sully stops, looks back.
SULLY
Wanted to know who you were.
MIKE
What did you tell him?
SULLY
That you were a medicine woman come from the East.
MIKE
And what did he say to that?
SULLY
Among whites, only men make medicine, so you must be a crazy white woman.
For the first time, he cracks a slight smile, then starts off again with the wolf. This time, she lets him go...
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. HOMESTEAD - CABIN - DAY 53
Mike comes from the cabin at dawn, wearing a plain, broadcloth dress and a shawl around her shoulders. Her hair is loose and flyaway.
MIKE (V.O.)
Except for Charlotte, none of the townspeople would take me seriously as a doctor.
INT. HOMESTEAD - BARN - DAY (SHORT TIME LATER) 54
Mike enters and throws some cornmeal from a sack, away from the chickens, then hurriedly collects their eggs as they leave their nests to eat.
MIKE (V.O.)
I was beginning to think Chief Black Kettle might be right. Maybe I was crazy.
EXT. HOMESTEAD - DAY (SHORT TIME LATER) 55
Mike struggles to balance full water buckets with the shoulder yoke, as she comes up from the streets.
MIKE (V.O.)
I had come to Colorado Springs to be a pioneer doctor, but I was fast becoming just a pioneer.
INT. HOMESTEAD - CABIN - DAY (SHORT TIME LATER) 56
Mike strokes the stove, then cracks some eggs into a frying pan. They sizzle. She takes a loaf of bread from the oven. It's lopsided and the crust is burnt. She flips the eggs over easy, then saws off a slice of bread. She slides the eggs onto a plate, with the bread and a dollop of Charlotte's preserves, and sits down to eat. Fork up... there's a POUNDING on the door, startling her.
MIKE
Who is it?
MATTHEW (O.S.)
Matthew Cooper.
Mike rushes to the door, flings it open.
MATTHEW
Ma needs your help.
OMITTED 57
EXT. COUNTRYSIDE - DAY (LATER) 57A
Mike gallops along behind Matthew, her medical bag tied firmly behind her saddle.
INT. EMILY'S BEDROOM - DAY (LATER) 58
Emily writhes on the bed, in the throes of birth. She's chalky pale and delirious from acute pain, passing in and out of consciousness, losing strength. Charlotte wipes her forehead with a damp cloth, as Mike rushes in and immediately takes Emily's pulse.
CHARLOTTE
The baby's crownin', but it just won't come on down. I tried moving it, but nothin' helps.
Mike takes a stethoscope from her bag and listens first to Emily's heartbeat, then to her bulging belly. She moves the scope around in vain, rips it from her ears.
MIKE
We're losing them.
She grabs a bottle of carbolic acid from her bag.
MIKE
Expose her abdomen and wipe it with this.
Charlotte snaps into action, following orders, as Mike takes other items from her bag -- swabs, chloroform, scalpel -- then takes the carbolic acid from Charlotte and douses both their hands and arms and dips the scalpel in. At the sight of the scalpel, Charlotte demurs, lowering her voice.
CHARLOTTE
You're not fixin' to cut her?
MIKE
There's no choice.
CHARLOTTE
I don't know...
MIKE
(firm)
I know what I'm doing. Now, take this...
She then saturates a swab with chloroform and hands it to Charlotte.
MIKE
... and hold it over her nose.
Charlotte complies. Almost immediately, Emily stops moaning, Mike takes up the scalpel.
MIKE
That's enough.
Charlotte backs off. Mike takes a breath... then cuts. Charlotte doesn't flinch. Mike works swiftly and has the baby out. It's all blue. She hands it to Charlotte.
MIKE
Clear it's windpipe. Massage it.
Mike starts sewing Emily up, one eye on her, the other on the baby. Charlotte is doing what she can to stimulate circulation and breath, but to no avail.
MIKE
Press it's chest. Gently. Up and down.
Charlotte does. Emily starts to come to. Mike holds the needle and thread in one hand, then applies the chloroform again with her other. She goes back to stitching. The baby is sill not breathing.
MIKE
Hold it upside down and slap it's back.
Charlotte looks at Mike like she's crazy.
CHARLOTTE
Upside down...?
MIKE
By it's heels! Do as I say!
Mike keeps stitching. Charlotte turns the baby upside down and slaps it on the back. Nothing. Charlotte looks at Mike.
MIKE
Again!
Charlotte repeats the SLAP. This time, the baby make a guttural sound. Mike and Charlotte react. Charlotte tries yet again, and this time, the baby begins to cry. The relief is palpable. As Charlotte cleans and swathes the baby, Mike finishes stitching and clips the thread. Emily comes to again. This time, Mike lets her. She quickly bandages the incision and covers Emily, who's now looking confused at Mike's presence. Charlotte goes to her.
CHARLOTTE
You're both fine. The doc saved your lives.
Emily looks to Mike and smiles feebly.
MIKE
You have a beautiful new son, Emily.
Charlotte places the baby in Emily's arms, then joins Mike at the foot of the bed. They grin at one another, then spontaneously hug...
FADE OUT:
END OF ACT TWO
ACT THREE
FADE IN:
EXT. BARBER SHOP - DAY 59
Mike rides into view, passers-by still looking on her as an oddity. Pumpkins are stacked in front of Bray's store. Fallen leaves everywhere in drifts.
MIKE (V.O.)
Emily healed well, and the baby thrived. But still, no patients came to me. They were curious enough...
She reins her horse in front of the barber shop and dismounts. Jake Slicker leans against the barber pole, shooting the breeze with some LOCALS.
MIKE (V.O.)
... but certain influential citizens managed to hold sway over the others.
She goes up to Slicker.
MIKE
Good morning, Mr. Slicker.
SLICKER
Mornin'.
MIKE
I'm in need of your professional services, sir. I'm hoping you can find time for me in your busy schedule. The locals look to him for a response.
SLICKER
Don't cut women's hair.
They look back at Mike.
MIKE
Oh, no, sir. It's your medical services I'm in need of. I can't seem to cure this toothache of mine.
Her hand goes to her left cheek.
MIKE
I'd appreciate a second opinion, one doctor to another.
The locals look back at Slicker, who can't resist the homage.
SLICKER
Come on inside. I'll take me a look.
She goes in first, followed by Slicker, then the locals, whose ranks are swelling.
INT. BARBER SHOP - DAY (SAME TIME) 60
Mike takes a seat in the lone barber chair.
MIKE
It's the one...
Her hand goes to her right cheek.
SLICKER
(interrupts)
Thought it were yer left side.
MIKE
It is... I mean, it's both sides really... But this side's the worst.
He tilts the chair back unceremoniously. She notices a bandana around his hand, the skin inflamed around it.
MIKE
Nasty cut you have there.
SLICKER
Scissors
MIKE
Looks infected.
SLICKER
Open up.
She opens her mouth. He looks and probes with all the delicacy of a mule.
SLICKER
Looks bad.
MIKE
(closes)
What do you suggest?
SLICKER
Pull it.
She sits up straight, unpleasantly surprised.
MIKE
Pull it?
SLICKER
Pull it.
MIKE
There's no other alternative?
SLICKER
You asked for my say, you got it.
MIKE
Well, yes... Of course... I'm sure you're quite right.
She hesitates, but sees the locals staring at her expectantly. She knows her next words will be fateful.
MIKE
... so I entrust myself entirely to your estimable care.
SLICKER
How's that?
She leans back in the chair.
MIKE
Pull it.
He reacts. MURMURS amongst the townsfolk. Slicker accepts the challenge and fetches his grungy tooth pliers. Mike opens wide. Slicker angles with the pliers, takes hold of a tooth.
SLICKER
Here goes.
Mike closes her eyes, braces herself. He yanks, then tugs, then yanks again. Sheer torture. Nothing clean about this; it's a bloody battle. Mikes hands grip the chair arms in agony. The locals look on calmly, expecting her to cry out, but she manages not to oblige them. Finally, the tooth pops out. Slicker holds it up like a vanquished enemy. MURMURS of approval. He shoves a wad of cotton in to stop the bleeding, then holds out the tooth to Mike.
SLICKER
Soov'neer.
She takes it, forces herself to get up. Her speech is affected slightly.
MIKE
I believe I feel better already.
Someone leans in to see the tooth. She gladly gives it to him.
MIKE
What do I owe you, Mr. Slicker?
SLICKER
Two bits.
She get the money from her bag, along with a jar of salve. She hands them both to him.
MIKE
(re: the salve)
This ointment will help clear up that infection.
(before he can reply)
Thank you, again, Mr. Slicker. And have a fine day.
She starts to go, but a LOCAL holds her tooth out to her.
LOCAL
Fergot somethin'
She turns and sees the bloody trophy. She forces a smile, takes it.
MIKE
Thank you, sir. I'd say I earned it, wouldn't you?
LOCAL
Yes, Ma'am.
EXT. BARBER SHOP - DAY (SAME TIME) 61
She exits, tooth in hand. The smile drops. Her jaw's killing her. She looks up to find Maude stocking goods in front of the General Store. Her professional concern outweighs her discomfort.
MIKE
(to Maude)
How are you feeling, Mrs. Bray?
MAUDE
There's nothin' wrong with me.
She goes inside. Mike sighs, her jaw reminding her of her own condition.
INT. CHARLOTT'S KITCHEN - DAY (SHORT TIME LATER) 62
Charlotte's busy making mincemeat pies, now rolling out the dough. A KNOCK at the door:
CHARLOTTE
Come in.
Mike enters and sits on a stool.
CHARLOTTE
You're lookin' a little peak-ed.
MIKE
I just had a tooth pulled.
CHARLOTTE
(surprised)
What?
MIKE
(avoiding Charlotte's eyes)
Jake Slicker said it had to go.
Charlotte turns to get some walnuts and a mallet, shooting Mike a suspicious sideways glance.
CHARLOTTE
Wasn't nothin' wring with your tooth, was there?
Mike stops and looks at her, confessing...
MIKE
No.
CHARLOTTE
(tsks, tsks Mike)
Shame on you. Lettin' that bully yank a perfectly good tooth outta your head.
MIKE
(sighs)
You're quite right.
CHARLOTTE
On the other hand...
(smiles to herself)
...I bet my bottom dollar you shook him right up.
MIKE
You think so?
Charlotte uses the mallet to crack the walnuts, offering some to Mike. They eat as they talk...
CHARLOTTE
Why, sure. What you did took guts. A man can't ignore that.
MIKE
Charlotte?
CHARLOTTE
Hm?
MIKE
How did your husband die?
CHARLOTTE
He didn't. He's alive and kickin' for all I know.
MIKE
But they call you Widow Cooper
CHARLOTTE
That's the townsfolks' way of bein' polite.
(a beat)
My husband and I, we had a farm near Topeka. Took us four years to make a go of it, then one day he upped and sold it. Didn't even ask me. Just came in one mornin' and told me we was goin' minin' for gold on Pike's Peak.
MIKE
(commiserates)
My fiance never once mentioned the war until the evening he came to dinner dressed in an officer's uniform and announced he was leaving in two days.
(a beat)
Two day.
CHARLOTTE
(shakes her head)
Can't be dependin' on men.
She wallops a walnut with the mallet.
CHARLOTTE
When the minin' went bust, my husband lost his good sense and disappeared with my money sock.
MIKE
I'm sorry, Charlotte.
CHARLOTTE
What's done is done.
(another wallop)
What about your man?
MIKE
He was a doctor. I met him at the hospital. Before that, I was always too busy with my work to pay much attention to the parties like my sisters. And even when I did, the boys never asked me to dance. They thought I was too...
She hesitates
CHARLOTTE
Smart
Mike smiles wistfully, nods.
MIKE
But, I wasn't about to give up being a doctor, so I gave up the parties instead.
CHARLOTTE
How come you didn't get married?
A beat.
MIKE
He was killed in the war.
Charlotte nods. They sit there quietly, then...
CHARLOTTE
It's funny... It don't seem to matter how you lose 'em. The pain's the same.
Mike nods. They sit, contemplative, in the dim, cool, silence...
OMITTED 63 - 67
EXT. CHURCHYARD - DAY (SHORT TIME LATER) 68
The treaty council is over. The camp has been broken and only a few stragglers remain. Sully walks toward the main street, the wolf at his side, as Mike rides from the other direction. She reins up when they come parallel.
MIKE
(surprised)
What happened? Is it over?
SULLY
(stops)
It's over alright.
MIKE
Did they reach an agreement?
SULLY
In a manner of speakin'. Chivington threatened war, 'less Black Kettle surrendered to a reserve south of Sand Creek.
MIKE
But why?
SULLY
Chivington's tryin' to impress the brass in D.C. Get 'em to grant statehood, so he can be the first governor.
With that, he and the wolf walk on. Mike's getting used to this sort of departure. She looks once again at the retreating Cheyenne, then urges her horse on.
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. HOMESTEAD - DAY 69
Mike is chopping wood, when a rider appears in the distance. It's Jake Slicker. She walks to the cabin and waits for him, next to her little brass plaque "M. QUINN, M.D."...
MIKE (V.O.)
Another month passed, and still no patients. But then Jake Slicker paid me a visit. As I watched him approach, I know there was only one reason he'd ride all the way out to my place. He didn't want any of the townspeople to see him talking to me.
Jake rides up and reins in his horse. He reaches into his pocket and tosses her something. She catches it. It's the jar of salve she gave him. He holds up his hand.
SLICKER
Did the trick.
MIKE
I'm glad to hear it.
SLICKER
How's yer teeth?
MIKE
Just fine, thank you.
(a beat)
May I offer you some refreshment?
SLICKER
Naw. Gotta git back.
His horse pulls at the bit restlessly, as if on cue, but Slicker hesitates, then offhandedly...
SLICKER
Ya know Robert E.?
MIKE
The blacksmith?
SLICKER
Ya might wanna ask him 'bout his lumbago next time yer in town.
MIKE
He didn't even want to sell me a horse.
SLICKER
(with difficulty)
Yeah... well... fact is...
(spits it out)
...I told him to let ya take a look at it.
(quickly)
I'm sick and tired 'a hearin' him carry on.
Mike realizes the import of the moment.
MIKE
I'll see what I can do.
Slicker nods, then turns his horse abruptly and rides off. She watches him go.
EXT. LIVERY - ANOTHER DAY 70
Mike rides up and dismounts, leading her horse inside...
INT. LIVERY - DAY (SAME TIME) 71
... where Robert E. finishes shoeing a horse. He checks the fit, lowers the horse's leg and pats the animal reassuringly. Mike keeps a distance, her black bag in hand.
MIKE
Good morning.
ROBERT E.
(uncomfortable)
'Mornin'.
He puts the newly shod horse into a stall. Mike pats her horse's neck.
MIKE
I want to thank you for selling me such a fine horse.
ROBERT E.
She's old.
MIKE
But she's sound.
ROBERT E.
She's sound.
He closes the stall and busies himself with moving some tack.
MIKE
This sort of work must be hard on the joints.
ROBERT E.
Yep.
MIKE
It could certainly aggravate a case of lumbago.
ROBERT E.
Yep.
MIKE
I understand you have a touch of it yourself.
ROBERT E.
Yep.
MIKE
(nods, then:)
Would you mind if I...
She reaches for his arm. He pulls away.
ROBERT E.
Don't want no female doctor.
MIKE
(a beat, ironic)
Of all the men in this town, I thought you might understand what it's like to be judges unfairly.
She turns to go.
ROBERT E.
Wait.
She stops. A beat, then he holds out his arm to her. She puts her bag on the ground, then manipulates his elbow, the hand, then fingers.
MIKE
Does that hurt?
ROBERT E.
Don't feel good.
She examines his hands closely, both ides, then pointing to his knuckles.
MIKE
You see this swelling?
He looks.
MIKE
It's called arthritis.
She picks up her bag and takes out some folded paper packets.
MIKE
I've got some medicine that will help take the swelling down and relieve some of the pain.
ROBERT E.
Ya can't fix it?
MIKE
Not entirely.
He's disappointed and skeptical. She hands him the packets, then firmly...
MIKE
But these will make it better.
He takes them, shrugs.
ROBERT E.
Guess it'll do 'til the new doc gets here.
MIKE
(jarred)
New doctor?
ROBERT E.
The Reverend said he put out 'nother advertisement.
Mike nods to herself, picks up her horse's reins and leaves abruptly.
OMITTED 72 - 73
EXT. CHURCH - DAY (MOMENTS LATER) 74
Mike rides up, disrupting an outdoor quilting bee of the town ladies, including Maude, Mrs. Slicker and Emily, all seated around a large stretched hoop with a nearly-finished quilt in it, stitching their share. The gathering is presided over by the Reverend. Mike dismounts and barrels right up to him.
MIKE
I demand to know why you've placed another advertisement for a doctor when that position has already been filled.
REVEREND
I don't mean to offend you, Miss Quinn...
MIKE
Doctor Quinn.
REVEREND
... but that is a matter of opinion.
MIKE
Whose opinion? Have you polled my patients?
REVEREND
I'm not aware of...
MIKE
Jake Slicker, Emily Donovan, Brian Cooper, Robert E....
REVEREND
I think we should calm down...
MIKE
I'm perfectly calm, and I'm waiting for an answer.
But she's not going to get it, because up runs Brian, frantic.
BRIAN
It's Ma! A rattler got her in the cellar.
OMITTED 75
INT. COOPER HOUSE - CHARLOTTE'S BEDROOM - DAY (LATER) 76
A small alcove, spare, but surprisingly feminine, with frilly curtains, and porcelain figurines. Charlotte's in bed, white as the sheets, struggling to breath, barely conscious. Matthew and Colleen hover worriedly over their mother's forearm, which is grossly swollen and turning an ugly shade of purple.
Suddenly, Mike and Brian burst in. Mike's a flurry of action, taking one look at the arm, then checking gums, eyes, and finally leaning her ear right onto Charlotte's chest for a heartbeat. She's appalled at the gravity of her condition.
MIKE
(to Matthew)
I need a big bucket of cold water...
He takes off.
MIKE
(to Colleen)
... and a glass of cider.
Colleen runs out, just as the Reverend and Maude enter, the Reverend urging the others behind them to wait outside. He then goes to Charlotte's side and begins to pray. Mike glances at Brian, sees his fear, then gestures to Charlotte's good arm.
MIKE
Come here and hold your mother's hand for me.
He does as he's told, feeling useful. Mike takes some of the water from the basin into a mortar cup and adds some sort of powder. She stirs, making a gooey plaster, then applies it to the bite. Charlotte moans, manages to focus on Mike.
CHARLOTTE
(weak)
What're you all doin' here?
MIKE
You were bitten by a rattlesnake.
CHARLOTTE
Oh, yeah.
MIKE
You're going to be fine.
CHARLOTTE
I am?
Mike looks at Charlotte, but can't answer, instead busies herself bandaging the plaster. She then fishes for some pills from her bag and crushes them, just as Colleen returns with the cider. She drops the crushed pill powder into the cider and hands it to Colleen, as Matthew enters with the bucket.
MIKE
(to Colleen)
Help your mother drink that.
(to Matthew)
Put the bucket under her arm.
He does. Mike lowers Charlotte's arm into the water. Charlotte goes limp, the cider dribbling down her cheek.
COLLEEN
(alarmed)
Ma?!
Mike is there with the stethoscope, listening to Charlotte's chest, but Charlotte revives.
CHARLOTTE
Dr. Mike?...
MIKE
Yes, Charlotte.
CHARLOTTE
One thing...
MIKE
Anything.
CHARLOTTE
Please... Take care of my children.
A look between the Reverend and Maude, surprised. Another between Colleen and Brian, frightened.
ON MIKE
Overwhelmed. She leans in close to Charlotte's ear, panicked, and whispers, searching the feelings that are flooding her, stumbling on the words...
MIKE
Charlotte, not me, I mean, I don't know anything about children, raising them, they don't teach you that in medical school... Besides, you're going to be fine.
CHARLOTTE
Promise... Promise...
A beat. Mike stares at the dying woman, then...
MIKE
I promise.
MAUDE
is touched by this commitment, in spite of herself.
Charlotte reaches for the children. They all hug her, as she loses consciousness again, and her breath lapses into the "death rattle". Brian starts to cry, then Colleen.
Mike rummages desperately in her medical bag for something -- anything -- that might help. She pulls out another packet of powder, her hand shaking as she tries to pour some into a cup.
The Reverend puts his hand on hers to stop her, a plea in his eyes o let these last moments be. She puts the medicine down.
OMITTED 77 - 78
FADE OUT:
END OF ACT THREE
ACT FOUR
FADE IN:
EXT. CHURCHYARD CEMETERY - DAY - LONG SHOT 79
The day is as beautiful as it is sad. Bright sunshine and a cooling breeze play over the two dozen mourners, including Maude, Emily and her baby, Horace, all gathered around Charlotte's grave site. Mike and the children stand together, distraught, as the Reverend offers some inaudible final words...
Sully and his wolf stand on the periphery.
ANOTHER ANGLE - CLOSER
The Reverend hands a shovel to Matthew who digs a token scoop and tosses it in. Mike is next to Matthew and automatically reaches for the shovel, but he resists giving it to her and, instead, passes it to the next man, Jake Slicker, who likewise shovels a scoop.
Mike swallows the slight. She looks to where Sully and the wolf were standing, but they're gone...
OMITTED 80
EXT. HOMESTEAD - DAY 81
Matthew drives the Cooper's buckboard up to the cabin. A somber Colleen sits beside him. All their worldly goods are in the rear of the wagon, on top of which sits Brian, melancholy. Mike comes out to greet them, but before she has a chance, Matthew is unhitching the horses.
MATTHEW
(to Mike)
The horses belong to us. So does everything else. We're free to take it all when we leave.
MIKE
You just got here.
He leads the horses to the barn...
MATTHEW
I'm sleepin' out here.
... disappearing inside.
BRIAN
I don't wanna stay here.
COLLEEN
(climbing down from the buckboard)
Well, you got no choice.
Matthew comes out of the barn and over to the wagon.
MATTHEW
There's room for a cow.
MIKE
Yes, well... The truth is I don't know how to take care of one.
MATTHEW
(sarcastic)
But you know how to take care of us.
MIKE
Now, just a minute, Matthew. I never claimed to know anything about being a mother...
MATTHEW
You're not our mother.
MIKE
I didn't mean that. You know what I mean. I'm not good at homemaking. But then, most doctors aren't. And that's what I am, a doctor.
(a beat)
Now, I was hoping we could all learn from one another. I'm willing if you are.
BRIAN
I wanna go home.
MATTHEW
(to Brian)
Forget it!
Brian jumps down from the wagon and starts running, off into the meadow.
MIKE
Brian!
He keeps on running. She takes off after him. So does Matthew. He overtakes her, then Brian, collaring him.
MATTHEW
Where do you think you're goin'?
BRIAN
I'm runnin' away to live with the Cheyenne!
Brian struggles, flailing and kicking. Mike catches up and wrests him away from Matthew, hugging him to her. They grapple, but Mike hangs on. Finally, Brian grabs hold of her and cries. Mike strokes his hair. Matthew is uncomfortable with this show of emotion. When Mike looks at him, he avoids her eyes and heads back to the cabin...
DISSOLVE TO:
OMITTED 82 - 85
EXT. GENERAL STORE -DAY 86
Mike and the Cooper children arrive in the buckboard, Matthew at the reins.
MIKE (V.O.)
(as if composing as she goes along)
Dear Mother, I know that in the past I was... unresponsive to your wish that I learn more about childrearing, however a certain... turn of events has reversed my attitude and I would appreciate any and all advice on the subject.
EXT. GENERAL STORE - DAY (MOMENTS LATER) 87
Mike is at one side of the store, ordering some supplies from Maude, when there's a CRASH of glass and a squabble breaks out by the candy counter. Bray grabs Brian by the collar.
BRAY
You clumsy fool!
COLLEEN
Let go of him!
Mike hurries over and sees glass and penny candy all over the floor.
BRAY
He broke one of my candy jars!
BRIAN
It was an accident!
BRAY
He climbed up on that stool after I told him not to!
MIKE
(to Brian)
Did you disobey Mr. Bray?
BRIAN
I just wanted to look.
Not the answer she'd hoped to hear. She looks back down at the mess.
MIKE
What's the damage?
BRAY
Jar's worth a dollar. Holds a hundred candies, that's another dollar.
MAUDE
It was only half full, Loren.
He glares at her, then to Mike...
BRAY
Dollar fifty.
MIKE
Please add it to my bill.
BRAY
Durn straight I will, but who's gonna clean up this mess?
Mike looks at Brian.
BRIAN
I don't know how.
MIKE
Then you'll learn.
Mike gets a broom and hands it to Brian.
BRIAN
(to Mike)
I hate you!
This stings, but Mike doesn't waver. She turns to Colleen.
MIKE
Go on with your shopping.
Colleen gives Bray a dirty look, then goes to the notions counter, as Mike and Maude return to the staples counter. Bray heads for some customers in the hardware area at the rear, grumbling as he goes.
Maude goes back to filling Mike's list, both studiously ignoring Brian's cleanup attempt. Maude reaches for a large sack of flour, hoisting it onto the counter. Mike gestures to the candy mess behind her.
MIKE
Thank you.
MAUDE
(matter-of-fact)
Was the truth.
Maude hoists another bag, this one beans. She pauses, looking flushed.
MIKE
(concerned)
Maude?
Maude looks at her, then glances toward the rear of the store to see if Loren's watching. He's not. Lowering her voice...
MAUDE
My heart does pound. Jus' like ya said.
MIKE
How often does it happen?
MAUDE
More 'n more regular. Once, maybe twice a week.
Mike nods, then furtively takes a packet from her medical bag and gives it to Maude.
MIKE
It's a powder called digitalis. Take a pinch of it whenever your heart starts to speed up. It'll help slow it back down.
Maude looks at the packet, hesitant, but then pockets it.
MIKE
It's all I have, but I'll send to Chicago for more.... And, Maude, you can't work so hard.
Maude sees Loren approaching with the other customers. She abruptly turns and continues to fill Mike's list, hoisting another heavy bag onto the counter...
INT. TELEGRAPH OFFICE - DAY (MOMENTS LATER) 87A
Horace is busy at his desk, when Mike enters.
MIKE
Good morning, Horace. I have a letter to post.
She holds out an envelope to him.
HORACE
Eh?
MIKE
(louder)
A letter.
He nods, taking it, weighing it.
HORACE
Think I'm losin' my hearin'.
MIKE
You should let me take a look.
HORACE
Naw...
She comes around the counter.
MIKE
It won't hurt.
He's reluctant, but also worried enough to let her.
HORACE
S'pose not.
She opens her bag and gets out an ear scope. She peers into his ear.
MIKE
I see the problem.
HORACE
(surprised)
Ya do?
MIKE
I do.
She fishes in her bag for some tweezers.
MIKE
Hold still.
She reaches into his ear with the tweezers, removes something and dispenses with it into the waste bin.
MIKE
You had more wax in there than an ear plug.
HORACE
(he can hear now)
I'll be.
She puts away her tools.
HORACE
Will you take some stamps for the ear, Doc?
MIKE
Actually, I need to send a telegram to Chicago, then we can call it even.
She writes on a slip of paper...
HORACE
Sounds fair to me.
... and hands it to him. He reads...
HORACE
Some kinda med'cine?
MIKE
That's right. And it's very important.
HORACE
I'll git it right out.
MIKE
Thank you, Horace.
HORACE
Anytime.
EXT. SALOON - DAY (MOMENTS LATER) 88
Mike heads back to the General Store, passing the Saloon. There's a narrow passage between it and the next building from which comes an urgent...
MYRA'S VOICE (O.S.)
Psst, Doc!
Mike stops, looks.
MIKE'S POV / MYRA
Myra, pale and distraught, stands at a side door.
MYRA
Ya gotta help me.
Mike starts toward her, but suddenly the bartender, Hank, appears, sees Mike.
HANK
(to Myra)
What d'ya think yer doin'?
He roughly hauls the girl inside, slamming the door shut. Mike's indignant. She comes back to the front and enters the saloon's swinging doors.
INT. SALOON - DAY (SAME TIME) 89
Activity freezes. All eyes are on Mike. She goes up to Myra, who glances fearfully at Hank.
HANK
(to Mike)
Gonna have to ask ya to leave, Miss.
MIKE
And I'm going to have to refuse.
(to Myra)
Where can we talk?
The girl glances toward the rear.
HANK
Ladies ain't allowed.
MIKE
I'm not a lady. I'm a doctor.
OMITTED 90
INT. MYRA'S ROOM - DAY (MOMENTS LATER) 91
It's a dingy little room with a basin stand, a rickety dresser and a narrow bed. A few trashy outfits hand on pegs. Mike enters with Myra and closes the door behind them.
The girl is literally shaking.
MIKE
Sit down.
She does.
MIKE
What's your name?
MYRA
Myra
MIKE
I'm Dr. Quinn.
MYRA
(feeble smile)
I liked what ya said out there, 'bout not being a 'lady'.
MIKE
I don't approve of male hypocrisy.
MYRA
(doesn't know the word)
Me neither.
MIKE
Tell me what's wrong.
MYRA
(with difficulty)
I think I got... ya know...
MIKE
A female problem?
Myra nods. Mike begins washing her hands in the basin.
MIKE
Have you ever had an examination before?
Myra shakes her head, apprehensive.
MIKE
There's nothing to be frightened of.
She looks for something to dry her hands on. Myra hurries to get a clean embroidered hanky from a drawer, the only pristine thing in the room. She gives it to Mike.
MIKE
Thank you, Myra.
INT. SALOON - BACK HALLWAY - DAY (LATER) 92
Mike comes out. Myra follows, but Mike stops her.
MIKE
I'll find my way out. I want you to get in bed and rest for at least two days. An no...
(what word can she use?)
...activity for a month.
MYRA
Hank's gonna be mad as hell.
MIKE
The bartender?
Myra nods.
MIKE
You leave Hank to me.
She turns to go, but Myra puts a hand on her arm.
MYRA
Wait.
She goes back in the room, rummages in a dresser drawer and returns with a 'pearl' necklace.
MYRA
They ain't real, but they're purty.
Mike takes them.
MIKE
They're lovely. Thank you.
MYRA
(tears welling)
I'm the one should say thanks.
Mike brushes away the girl's tears.
MIKE
I'll check back in a week.
Myra nods.
INT. SALOON - DAY (MOMENTS LATER) 93
Mike comes from the back and, again, a HUSH falls. She goes up to the bar, announcing --
MIKE
Hank, I've given Myra orders to remain chaste for one month.
HANK
(doesn't know the word)
Chaste?
MIKE
She doesn't 'work'.
A rustling of protest among the patrons.
HANK
She works for me.
A COWBOY calls out --
COWBOY
'Less you wanna take her place, lady.
LAUGHTER and leering. Mike turns to the room, cool.
MIKE
I'm afraid that's not my line of work, gentlemen. As I said, I'm a doctor. And I'll expect to be hearing from any of you who're foolish enough to spend time with Myra before that month is up.
They get her meaning. So does Hank, and he's furious at having his hands tied. He comes around the bar menacingly.
HANK
Git out!
Wary, she starts for the door. He's right on her heels. The other men rise and follow. Before she can make it to the swinging doors, they converge, blocking her way. She's frightened, but tries to keep her voice steady...
MIKE
Get out of my way.
They push in closer. Mike can smell their sour odors. They can smell her fear. SUDDENLY, one of the cowboys is jerked backward. WIDEN TO REVEAL that Sully has him by the collar. The cowboy takes a swing, but Sully decks him with one blow. A couple of the other cowboys jump Sully, punches fly. Sully takes a hit, but dispenses with both cowboys in short order.
As the three cowboys pick themselves up, the others back away... except for one glory seeker whose hand goes to his holster.
COWBOY
I ain't 'fraid of ya, mountain man.
The wolf tenses, but Sully signals him to stay put. In a lightning flash, the cowboy goes for his gun, but Sully moves even faster, hurling his tomahawk, knocking the gun from the cowboy's hand before he can pull the trigger. The cowboy is stunned. So are the others. They all back off. Sully picks up his tomahawk and escorts Mike out...
EXT. GENERAL STORE 93A
... and over to the store. Sully is unruffled, but Mike glances back over her shoulder nervously. No one follows. The kids sit on the boardwalk, next to the wagon filled with supplies, as they come up.
COLLEEN
(to Mike)
Brian cleaned up good.
Mike, still shaken, just nods, then to them all...
MIKE
Get in the wagon.
Colleen and Matthew exchange a look as they do. Brian sulks, climbs in the back of the wagon. Mike turns to look at Sully.
MIKE
Thank you.
Sully looks back at her, and she gets that same uneasy feeling she always has in his presence. He just nods and walks off with the wolf at his side. Mike watches him for a moment, then climbs into the wagon seat next to Matthew.
OMITTED 94 - 95
EXT. COUNTRYSIDE - DAY (LATER) (DUSK) 96
The buckboard rolls along. Mike looks preoccupied, but then glances back to Colleen, perched up close behind the seat, and gives her a reassuring smile. She then looks back to Brian, way at the rear of the wagon, but he angrily turns away.
INT. HOMESTEAD - CABIN - DAY 97
Mike awakens at dawn and pulls on her clothes, plus a heavy coat against the chill air and goes to the stove to stoke it up. Beside it, Brian's cot is empty. Not even the blanket. She checks the wardrobe box beneath. It's empty. She hurries outside...
EXT. HOMESTEAD - CABIN - DAY (SAME TIME) 98
... and looks in all directions.
MIKE
Brian?!... Brian?!...
Colleen appears behind her, sleepy, at the door. Mike runs for the barn.
INT. BARN - DAY (SAME TIME) 99
Matthew is just coming out in his longjohns, as Mike rushes in and begins saddling her horse.
MIKE
(to Matthew)
Ride into town and get the reverend to organize a search party.
MATTHEW
What's wrong?
Colleen enter to hear...
MIKE
Brian's run away.
Mike tightens the last cinch on the saddle and swings up onto her horse, an old hand now at riding western, skirts and all.
MATTHEW
But...
MIKE
Do as I say, Matthew.
She rides out...
EXT. BARN - DAY (SAME TIME) 100
... urging her horse to action...
ANOTHER ANGLE
... galloping out across the meadow and disappearing into the woods...
FADE OUT:
END OF ACT FOUR
ACT FIVE
FADE IN:
EXT. WOODS - DAY 101
Mike rides deep into the woods, looking, listening, calling...
MIKE
Brian?!...
She's been at this for some time. The sun is low in the sky, and the terrain starts to elevate here. The air has turned cold. Frustration plays across Mike's face. Her voice cracks...
MIKE
Brian!!!...
Nothing. Just the WIND, a BIRD CALL and silence. Suddenly, and seemingly from out of nowhere, she's surrounded by Cheyenne Indians. She's stunned by their lightning appearance. They stare. She stares.
EXT. INDIAN CAMP - NIGHT 102
The scouting party rides in with Mike, gathering looks as they pass the campfires of several teepees.
INT. CHIEF'S TEEPEE - NIGHT (MOMENTS LATER) 103
Mike is brought inside by one of the braves and pushed to a sitting position in front of Chief Black Kettle. On one side of him sits a wizened old man, wearing many amulets. On the other side sits... Sully and his wolf. Mike's not surprised to see him there.
MIKE
(to Sully)
Please, tell them to let me go.
Sully says something in Cheyenne to the brave, still standing behind Mike. He answers. Both Sully and Chief Black Kettle nod.
SULLY
He says you were lost, so they brought you here for safe keeping.
MIKE
I wasn't lost. Well, maybe I was, but I was looking for Brian. He had it in his head to run off and live with the Cheyenne. He thinks you live with the Indians, and you're his hero.
SULLY
That right?
MIKE
That's right. So he's out there somewhere, wandering around in the cold with wild animals...
The Chief speaks, obviously want to know what's transpiring. Sully explains at length in Cheyenne, as Mike waits. Her eyes go to...
THE WOLF
... which is staring at her with an expression of uncanny intelligence.
Finally, Sully turns to her.
SULLY
Chief Black Kettle says his people will search for the boy as soon as it's light enough to see.
Mike looks directly at the Chief.
MIKE
Thank you.
OMITTED 103A
EXT. CAMPFIRE - LATER - NIGHT 104
Sully sits across a small fire from Mike. The wolf dozes lightly at Sully's side, lifting it's head occasionally whenever the fire POPS or a nightbird SINGS. Sully takes an ear of corn from the fire and holds it out to her. She shakes her head.
SULLY
Gotta eat.
MIKE
I'm not hungry, thank you.
SULLY
You plan on looking for the boy come sun-up?
MIKE
Of course.
SULLY
Then you better eat, hungry or not.
He thrusts the corn at her again. This time she takes it. He takes one, too, and settles back. They eat in silence for a moment, each fully aware of the night, the fire, their proximity to one another...
MIKE
(wistful)
The last time I ate corn-on-the-cob I was sitting on the banks of the River Charles.
SULLY
Where's that?
MIKE
Home.
(a beat)
Are you ever homesick, Mr. Sully?
SULLY
Nope.
A beat.
MIKE
Do you think he'll be alright out there?
SULLY
No way of really knowin'.
MIKE
(tears well)
I let Charlotte down.
SULLY
You done your best. Life just has a way of takin' its own course.
He tosses his finished cob into the fireplace and unrolls an Indian blanket. It looks like he's going to cover himself with it, but then he gets up and goes around to drape it around Mike's shoulders. At his touch, she looks up at him. For the first time, she realizes what the uneasy feeling around him has been about. The sexual tension is at last overt. They feel the power of the attraction, as it hangs in the balance between them...
Finally, they pull away at the same instant, she wrapping the blanket around her tightly, he returning to his place and hunkering down. He uses his pack for a pillow of sorts and closes his eyes. She curls up on her side and closes her eyes, as well, but after a beat, she opens them, staring across the fire at Sully. After another beat, his eyes open and look right at her. Caught, she quickly turns over, away from the feeling, away from those eyes...
OMITTED 105 - 106
EXT. HOMESTEAD - DAY 107
The townsmen are gathered at dawn on horseback, among them the Reverend, Loren Bray and Jake Slicker. Matthew is saddles up, too, while Colleen stands with some women.
SLICKER
We should spread out and meet up at the Sand Creek before dark.
No one disagrees. They head out.
COLLEEN
watches them go.
EXT. WILDERNESS - DAY (LATER) 108
The sun's up bright now. Mike and Sully follow a deer trail. Sully checks the underbrush for signs of Brian's passage. Mike scans the area. The wolf sniffs the air.
MIKE
Brian?!...
EXT. HILLSIDE - DAY (SAME TIME) 109
Chief Black Kettle and a dozen braves comb the side of the brushy hill.
EXT. WOODS - DAY (LATER) 110
ON MATTHEW
The worry shows on his face in spite of his attempt to mask his emotions in the presence of the other men.
MATTHEW
Brian!...
His head keeps turning to look again where he has already looked -- and again -- and again...
EXT. STREAM - DAY (SAME TIME) 111
Mike and Sully pause by the shallow running water. The wolf drinks.
ON SULLY
He bends down, cupping his hand for the cool water, looking up as he drinks, across to the other side.
SULLY'S POV
On the opposite bank is a flicker of blue.
Sully stops drinking and squints to focus, then suddenly stands and strides across the water, splashing Mike.
MIKE
Sir!...
Then she sees that he's on to something. She wades across, unthinking of her shoes or skirts. He bends to pick something up.
MIKE
What is it?
He hands her a fragment of blue material. She examines it carefully, then looks up at him.
MIKE
Brian has a blue flannel shirt...
That's enough for Sully. He takes back the fragment and gives the wolf a nod. It crosses to him. He lets it sniff the material, then gives it the lead on that side of the creek. Mike and Sully follow the wolf.
EXT. SAND CREEK - DAY (LATER) 112
Several of the Indian bands converge, including Black Kettle's.
EXT. HILLTOP - DAY (SAME TIME) 113
Matthew and the townsmen crest the hill, looking down on Sand Creek in the distance. They spot the Indians and immediately fall back, out of sight. Several men are quite agitated Bray foremost.
BRAY
They're off the reserve.
MATTHEW
Maybe it's a huntin' party.
BRAY
And maybe it's a raidin' party.
REVEREND
Now, Loren, we've got enough trouble without you conjuring up an Indian war.
BRAY
The red man ain't kept his word yet to the white man.
MATTHEW
I think you got that backwards, Mr. Bra.
BRAY
Look here, son, we all know your ma was an Indian lover, God rest her soul, but this ain't no time for sentiment.
MURMURS of agreement. Bias is definitely with Bray.
REVEREND
But Matthew's right. You're jumpin' to conclusions.
BRAY
I see what I see.
(gesturing)
There they are, plain as the nose on yer face.
(points to a young man)
Jeremy, get over to the fort and tell Colonel Chivington.
The boy nods, rides off.
EXT. WILDERNESS - DAY (LATER) 114
Mike and Sully are in a rockier area. Mike has trouble keeping up, as the wolf moves steadily along, onto a scent.
QUICK DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. ROCKY RAVINE - DAY (SHORT TIME LATER) 115
The wolf is loping along now. Mike and Sully keep up, tense with anticipation.
Suddenly, the wolf stops. They come up behind it. There's a drop-off into a ravine. Mike leans over, trying to see.
MIKE
Brian?!...
Nothing... But then, a small voice, weak and faraway...
BRIAN (O.S.)
Ma?
Mike looks to Sully. Tears sting her eyes. The wolf has found a way down the steep slope. The scramble after it.
ANOTHER ANGLE
They climb, slipping, regaining footing, sliding part of the way, but they arrive at an outcropping that's a sheer fall some twenty feet to a small ledge. On that ledge is Brian, his leg badly broken...
Mike looks around frantically for a way to get to him, but there's no access. Even the wolf paces, frustrated.
Sully sizes up the situation and determines to do the only thing possible... scale the wall down to Brian. He takes off his shoes.
MIKE
What're you doing?
He doesn't answer, just starts his descent. She holds her breath. The wolf utters a whine of concern.
Almost losing his footing at every step, Sully slowly inches his way down to Brian. He uses his tomahawk like a piton, wedging it into cracks in the rocks for a grip he could never effect with his hands alone. Finally, he gets to the boy.
ON SULLY AND BRIAN
Brian's in pain and shock, but he's cogent. Sully turns his back and bends down.
SULLY
Grab 'hold.
Brian clutches Sully tight around the neck. Sully stands up. Brian grasps in pain, his hold faltering.
SULLY
Hang on tight!
Brian renews his grip. Sully starts to climb... Slowly, precariously, he crawls up the side of the rock... finally coming close enough to the top for Mike to grab both of tem and pull them over.
She hugs Brian to her, both crying. The wolf licks Brian. Sully watches a beat, then Mike pulls herself together, the doctor in her taking over.
MIKE
(to Sully)
His leg is broken. I'll need a splint.
He goes to find that, as Mike tears Brian's pantleg away from the break, careful to move it as little as possible.
MIKE
You're all right, Brian, but I'm going to have to set your leg so we can move you.
She strokes his hair, as Sully returns with a stick. The wolf hasn't moved from Brian's side.
MIKE
(to Sully, meaningfully)
Will you hold him, please.
Sully places himself behind the boy's head, first slipping a smaller stick between his teeth, then holding his upper body gently, but firmly. Brian reaches out and hangs onto the wolf. He squeezes his eyes shut, tries not to show the pain, but...
CLOSE ON BRIAN
... and he bites through he stick with a CRACK, when the bone in his leg is forced back into place.
EXT. SAND CREEK - DAY (LATER) 116
The sun is low, as most of the Cheyenne have converged.
ANOTHER ANGLE
They're spotted by a brave, and quickly the Cheyenne are coming toward them, helping them, carrying Brian.
ANOTHER ANGLE
They're brought to Chief Black Kettle, who smiles at Brian. Brian smiles back.
Suddenly, word of another arrival spreads. They look to see...
EXT. HILL CREST - DAY (SAME TIME) 116A
...Colonel Chivington and twenty uniformed calvary soldiers ride to the crest of the hill. The townsmen come forward at the arrival of the soldiers.
CLOSE ON MATTHEW
who sees Mike, Sully and Brian.
MATTHEW
It's Brian!
He takes off, galloping down the hill.
BRAY
Hey!...
Colonel Chivington fears losing the moment, gives the command...
CHIVINGTON
Charge!
The soldiers roar down the hill.
EXT. SAND CREEK - DAY (SAME TIME) 116B
The Cheyenne see them coming and scramble to their horses and weapons.
Mike grabs Brian, but Sully has beaten her to it. He heads for cover, along with the wolf. Mike waves her arms at the calvary, signaling furiously, trying her best to head off the impending disaster.
ANOTHER ANGLE
The soldiers overtake Matthew. As they THUNDER past him, he yells, unheard for the pounding of the hooves...
MATTHEW
No!...
He gallops after them.
ANOTHER ANGLE
Mike runs straight at the oncoming calvary.
ANOTHER ANGLE
Chivington's men see her and automatically balk.
BLACK KETTLE
is trying to calm his men, away from the confrontation when he realizes what she's doing.
CHIVINGTON
feels his men reining in.
SULLY
hides Brian behind some rocks and looks back for Mike. He spots her. With a hand gesture, he tells the wolf to stay put with the boy, then runs for Mike.
MIKE
is frightened by the onrushing horses, but she stands her ground, waving to be heard. Just as the soldiers are about to overrun her, they yank their horses to a stop. Behind them, Chivington has no choice but to order...
CHIVINGTON
Halt!...
Sully gets to her, as Chivington rides up. He addresses Sully.
CHIVINGTON
You're interfering with government business!
Sully isn't about to steal Mike's thunder. He drawls, matter-of-fact...
SULLY
Better talk to the lady.
Chivington glares, just as Matthew rides up.
MIKE
(to Chivington)
This is a search party. My boy was lost, and these people tried to help me find him.
MATTHEW
(to Chivington)
That's what I was trying to tell you!
Behind Mike, the Indians stare benignly at the calvary soldiers, who're convinced. Chivington realizes this with frustration.
CHIVINGTON
(to Mike)
The Cheyenne have broken federal law by leaving their reserve in a number greater than two.
MIKE
That's my fault, sir.
(simply)
Please accept my apology.
She has him. Chivington's horse stomps and prances for a moment, then he turns it abruptly.
CHIVINGTON
(to his men)
Fall back.
They retreat back up the hillside. Mike runs to the rocks where Brian is hidden and takes him in her arms. He hugs her around the neck.
BRIAN
You sure told 'em, Dr. Mike.
Mike smiles and kisses his cheek, as Matthew rides up to them. He jumps down and ruffles Brian's hair, then gently lifts his brother onto his horse. He swings up into the saddle behind him, looks down at Mike.
MATTHEW
Thanks.
She knows how difficult that was for him and doesn't prolong the moment.
MIKE
Poor Colleen will be worried sick by now. Let's go home.
She swings up onto her horse, turns to find Sully standing there. A look passes between them, then she rides off.
FADE OUT:
END OF ACT FIVE
ACT SIX
FADE IN:
EXT. GENERAL STORE - DAY 117
A cold, windy day, the sky threatening rain. Pumpkins are stacked in front of Bray's store. The Cooper buckboard rolls into town with Mike and the children. The stagecoach has just arrived, and cargo, including mail bags, is being unloaded.
MIKE (V.O.)
Brian's leg healed well. I wish I could say the same for relations with the Cheyenne. The townspeople were fearful, and the soldiers were spiteful, but with winter approaching, peace prevailed.
INT. GENERAL STORE - DAY (SHORT TIME LATER) 118
Mike checks a list of provisions, as she selects items. Colleen admires some bolts of cloth held up by Maude, while Brian covets something over in a glass case. Bray waits on the Reverend, who buys tobacco for his pipe.
MIKE (V.O.)
As for my practice, I'd had some, well, very challenging cases...
REVEREND
(to Mike)
How's Mr. Stortle's pig?
MIKE
Very well, thank you. I never knew pigs were so intelligent.
BRAY
Heard farmers say they're smarter'n dogs.
BRIAN
But not wolves.
BRAY
Didn't say wolves, did I?
The Reverend finishes his purchase and comes up to Mike.
REVEREND
(offhandedly)
Cancelled that advertisement.
She looks at him.
REVEREND
For a new doc. Don't see much point. Do you?
She smiles.
Colleen holds up a rose-colored material for Mike to see.
COLLEEN
Do you like it?
MIKE
I think it's lovely, but the important thing is, do you like it?
BRAY
(barks at Mike)
Don't you want to know the price?
MAUDE
(ignores him, to Colleen)
Gonna make a dress for the Christmas dance?
Colleen looks to Mike hopefully. Mike nods. Colleen turns to Maude, delighted...
COLLEEN
Eight yards, please.
Bray shakes his head in disapproval, as Maude measures it off and cuts.
BRAY
(muttering to himself)
Such a thing as spoiling children.
Mike ignores him and goes to the glass case where Brian is still transfixed. The Reverend comes over to look, too.
MIKE
What's caught your fancy, Brian?
He points. In the rear of the case is a beautiful wood carving of a wolf.
MIKE
It looks like Sully's wolf.
REVEREND
It is. Sully's the one who carved it.
MIKE
(surprised)
I thought he was a miner.
BRAY
(comes up)
He's a misfit.
MIKE
Then why sell his carving?
BRAY
Didn't put it there.
He shoots a look at Maude, who looks uncomfortable.
MAUDE
It belonged to our...
BRAY
That's enough!
Mike wants to ease the tense moment between the couple.
MIKE
I'd like to buy it.
Bray turns on her, glaring, but then, without a word, he removes it form the case and hands it to her. She, in turn, hands it to Brian, who cradles it reverently. Mike goes to the counter to pay her bill, as Maude retreats to pick up the bolt of material and reaches to put it back on the shelf. As she does, she's stricken. She staggers, grabbing at her shoulder with one hand, pulling the bolt of material loose with the other, as she falls. Mike is around the counter in a flash. Bray and the Reverend are right behind her. Maude is intensely flushed, sweating, barely conscious. Mike cradles her head.
MIKE
Maude?... Maude, the powder, where is it?
No response.
BRAY
What powder?
Mike ignores him, raising her voice urgently.
MIKE
Maude! Listen to me!
Bray tries to intervene physically...
BRAY
We outta get her to bed.
...but Mike pushes him away.
MIKE
No!
BRAY
Ya gonna jus' let her lie there on the floor?!
MIKE
She shouldn't be moved!
Jake Slicker and other townspeople crowd into the store, watching as Mike searches Maude's pockets frantically, finding nothing.
MIKE
Maude, the powder!
Maude's eyes flicker open and she manages...
MAUDE
Gone.
MIKE
Dear, God...
(to Bray)
Hold her head up.
He obeys, as Mike bolts up and runs from the store.
EXT. GENERAL STORE - DAY (SAME TIME) 119
Mike runs as fast as she can, pushing past people, dashing into...
INT. TELEGRAPH OFFICE - DAY (SAME TIME) 120
...where she startles Horace at his desk.
HORACE
Whoa, there.
MIKE
(gasping for breath)
Horace... the mail bag...
HORACE
Jus' came in.
He gestures to it beside his desk. She seizes it and upends it all over the floor.
HORACE
Hey!...
She scrambles onto the floor, searching through the mail.
MIKE
Help me, Horace! We've got to find the medicine!
HORACE
What's they hurry?
MIKE
Please, help me!!
Her urgency convinces him to drop to his knees and help search. Horace holds up an envelope with a smile.
HORACE
Here's one from Boston, Massachusetts.
She grabs the letter, glances at it and shoves it in her pocket.
MIKE
No!
HORACE
But I thought...
MIKE
The medicine! From Chicago!
She resumes her search, as he double-checks her. Nothing.
HORACE
It just ain't come yet.
She's frustrated, devastated, turns and runs back out.
INT. GENERAL STORE - DAY (MOMENTS LATER) 121
Mike bursts back in and pushes her way behind the counter. Maude is beet red and barely breathing. Even Loren is panicked now. He makes way for her. She kneels beside Maude, who tries to speak, but the effort is too much for her. Her eyes flutter... and she's gone.
BRAY
(to Mike)
Do somethin'.
MIKE
There's nothing I can do!!
She sees the look in Bray's eyes, as well as the faces of the others peering down. Their faith had momentarily been in her, but she's failed them. Failed Maude. Failed herself...
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. HOMESTEAD - NIGHT 122
A rain storm outside. THUNDER and lightning. Sheets of water pounding the roof.
MIKE (V.O.)
I'd lost patients before, but never for want of a simple drug. This sort of frontier justice was something I would never accept.
INT. HOMSTEAD - CABIN - NIGHT (SAME TIME) 123
Mike and the Coopers sit around the table, bundled against the cold and damp. They've finished supper. Mike stares down at her plate, hardly touched. Colleen is hand-stitching the beginnings of her dance dress. She sees Mike's melancholy, tries to cheer her...
COLLEEN
You still haven't read your letter.
Mike looks up, tries to rally. She pulls it from her pocket, opens the envelope carefully and withdraws the pages.
MIKE
(reading aloud)
"Dear Michaela,..."
(to kids)
That's what my mother calls me.
(reads)
"Dear Michaela, I have just this moment received your letter of November tenth. It's hard to believe we are nearly a month apart by post. Anything I write will be obsolete..."
She looks up at their faces to see if the word stumps them. It does.
MIKE
Obsolete is when something is over and done with for a long time.
(reads again)
"Anything I write will be obsolete by the time you read this, but so be it... Mary is with child."
(to the children)
Mary's my oldest sister.
(back to the letter)
"The baby is due in May. Perhaps you'll return by then. I won't pretend not to hope that you'll give up this lark. You are a civilized woman, not some rustic. As for my advice on child rearing? Come home, settle down and raise a family of your own..."
Mike stops reading, tears stinging her eyes. She leaves the table and goes to her bed. She tries to stifle the tears, but can't. Her shoulders shake. A hand on one make her look. It's Colleen. Mike hugs her tight and weeps...
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. HOMESTEAD - NIGHT 124
An icy wind blows. The cabin is dark.
INT. HOMESTEAD - CABIN - NIGHT (SAME TIME) 125
The household sleeps when...
SUDDENLY
... there's a POUNDING at the door, causing them all to jump.
MIKE
Who is it?
SULLY (O.S.)
Sully. Open up.
BRIAN
Sully!
Mike lifts the door latch, and it bursts open. Sully is standing there with two Cheyenne braves, who carry a wounded Chief Black Kettle into the room and lay him on the table. His head, neck and chest are covered with blood.
The wolf is last in and takes a post by the door, which is closed against the cold by Sully. Brian goes to sit with the wolf, who remembers him, as Matthew enters from the barn.
Mike is torn between her roles as doctor and guardian of the children, but it's impossible to protect them from this reality. Colleen and Matthew hang back, but observe throughout. Mike gets her medical bag and examines the chief.
MIKE
(to Sully)
What happened?
SULLY
Chivington and his men ambushed their village. Burned it to the ground. Massacred near everybody.
MIKE
(looks up)
He has a bullet lodged in his neck.
SULLY
Can you get it out?
MIKE
I think so, but the swelling is starting to block his air passage. He can't breathe. I'm going to have to do something about that first.
She hurriedly splashes carbolic acid on her hands, her scalpel and the Chief's neck, then poises her knife to cut straight across the front of his throat. One of the braves grips her hand, stopping her. There's a heated exchange between Sully and the Indians. Finally, the brave lets go.
SULLY
(to Mike)
You better know what you're doin'.
MIKE
It's called a tracheotomy.
And she proceeds, seemingly cutting the Chief's throat, but in actuality, freeing his windpipe. Everyone is stunned when no blood gushes out, and in fact, the Chief begins to breathe through the opening. He regains consciousness. She douses a cloth with chloroform and tries to place it over his nose, but he pushes it away.
MIKE
(continuing, to Sully)
Tell him it's so he won't feel the pain.
Sully translates. The Chief shakes his head.
SULLY
He's not afraid of pain.
No time to argue. She discards the chloroform, picks up an instrument and begins probing in his neck for the bullet. The Chief doesn't make a sound.
Mike has to go deeper. Still not a whimper from Black Kettle. Finally, she extracts the bullet and holds it up for all to see...
FADE OUT:
END OF ACT SIX
ACT SEVEN
FADE IN:
EXT. HOMESTEAD - NIGHT 126
Pre-dawn. A light snow is falling. The moon has set, but the first hint of the rising sun touches the horizon. Light glows from inside the cabin.
INT. HOMESTEAD - CABIN - DAY (SAME TIME) 127
Chief Black Kettle lies on Mike's bed, swathed in blankets, asleep. The braves sit on the floor by the stove. Colleen is asleep in her clothes atop her cot. Matthew has fallen asleep sitting up on Brian's cot. Brian is wide awake, watching the braves. Mike and Sully sit at the table, conferring in low tones.
SULLY
Soon as the sun's up, Chivington's men will search for Black Kettle's body. When they don't find it, they'll come lookin'.
MIKE
You can't move him. It could start the bleeding again. Besides, I need to stitch up that tracheotomy when the swelling goes down.
Sully considers this, worrying out a solution. Mike watches him, his intense concern.
MIKE
(continuing, gently)
What made you get so involved?
He looks into her eyes, deciding whether to open himself any further, then looks over at the wolf.
SULLY
See that wolf over there.
Mike looks to see it still sitting quietly with Brian.
SULLY
People say it's evil, but it's been a friend to me. Same thing with the Indians.
(looks back at Mike)
When the white man first set foot in these parts thirty years ago, there was thousands of wolves. Government put a bounty on their head. Now there's only a few hundred.
(a beat)
Way I see it, same thing's happenin' to the Indians.
A beat
MIKE
We can hide Chief Black Kettle in the barn
OMITTED 128
INT. BARN - LATER (MOMENTS LATER) 129
The animals stir at their entrance, watching with wide eyes. Mike leads the braves to Matthew's cot at the end of the stalls, where they place the Chief. Mike covers Black Kettle with blankets as the braves talk between themselves, then to Sully.
SULLY
(to Mike)
They want to know how long.
MIKE
At least a day until the tissue binds enough.
Sully tells the Indians. They don't like it, but they have no choice. Mike finishes.
SULLY
You better go on back to the house.
MIKE
Come with me, Brian.
Reluctantly, he goes out. A look between Mike and Sully, then she follows. He hooks a rope latch on the barn door behind them.
INT. HOMESTEAD - CABIN - LATER - DAY 130
Mike and the children make themselves busy, tense from the waiting. Mike nervously gets up from some accounting at the table and goes to look out the window.
EXT. HOMESTEAD - MIKE'S POV - DAY (SAME TIME) 131
A small band of soldiers rides up from the creek.
MIKE (V.O.)
They're coming.
INT. BARN - DAY (SAME TIME) 132
Sully peers through the slats, watching...
INT. HOMESTEAD - CABIN - DAY (SAME TIME) 133
Mike checks the room for anything that might give away Black Kettle's presence.
MIKE
(to Matthew)
You cleared all their tracks?
MATTHEW
Every last one.
Colleen is suddenly struck with an unpleasant thought.
COLLEEN
(to Mike)
What if they recognize you from Sand Creek?
Mike looks back out the window, worried.
EXT. HOMESTEAD - MIKE'S POV - DAY (SAME TIME) 134
The soldiers are almost to the cabin.
INT. HOMESTEAD - CABIN - DAY (SAME TIME) 134A
Mike hurries back to the table and sits. The others return to their activity. A beat and the SOUND of horses and men outside. There's a KNOCK at the door. Mike and the children exchange looks, as she rises to answer it. Two muddy SOLDIERS, their uniforms still blood-splashed, stand there. Two more wait on their horses.
SOLDIER
(takes off his hat)
Ma'am.
MIKE
(with a western accent)
Kin I help ya?
This gets a quick look from the children.
SOLDIER
We're looking from some renegades mighta come this way.
MIKE
(feigned alarm)
Injuns? 'Round these parts?
The Soldier looks past her into the cabin.
SOLDIER
Sorry, but we got orders to search ev'ry house.
She swings the door wide.
MIKE
Help yerself.
He and the other soldier enter and look around. The children stop and stare, keeping their cool. Satisfied, the men turn back to Mike at the door.
SOLDIER
If you see any renegades, send the boy...
He gestures to Matthew, which makes him bristle.
SOLDIER
... to the fort.
MIKE
Yessir.
The men leave. Mike closes the door after them. She waits a beat, then goes to the window. The children join her.
EXT. HOMESTEAD - THEIR POV - DAY (SAME TIME) 135
The soldiers head out, passing the barn. One of them looks sideways at it, then says something to the other.
OMITTED 136 - 137
INT. HOMESTEAD - CABIN (SAME TIME) 137A
Mike and the children tense.
EXT. HOMESTEAD - THEIR POV - DAY (SAME TIME) 137B
The soldiers turn their horses toward the barn.
INT. BARN - DAY (SAME TIME) 137C
Sully sees them coming. He says something to the two braves, who spring into action, lifting Black Kettle from the cot.
EXT. BARN - WIDE ANGLE - DAY (SAME TIME) 137D
Both the front and rear of the barn are visible, though not to the soldiers. As they near the front door, the braves slip out the back with their horses and Chief Black Kettle, scrambling down a hillside for cover.
INT. BARN - DAY (SAME TIME) 137E
Sully is about to slip out with them, when the soldiers rattle the front door. It's still latched.
EXT. BARN - DAY (SAME TIME) 137F
The soldiers push on the door, their suspicions rousing.
INT. BARN - DAY (SAME TIME) 137G
Sully wields his tomahawk and hurls it with precision to cut the rope latch loose.
EXT. BARN - DAY (SAME TIME) 137H
The door gives. The soldiers shove their way inside....
INT. BARN - DAY (SAME TIME) 137I
...just as the rear door closes behind Sully, unseen to them. They look around, then, satisfied, turn back to the door, exiting without noticing...
THE TOMAHAWK
... stuck in the wall.
EXT. HILLSIDE - DAY (SAME TIME) 137J
Sully slides the last part of the way, ducking behind some bushes with the Cheyenne, watching for the soldiers, who can be seen mounting up in front of the barn and riding off.
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. BARN - DAY 137K
There's a foot of snow on the ground, but the sky is wedgewood blue. Mike and the children watch, as the braves hoist Black Kettle onto one of the Cooper horses.
SULLY
(to Matthew)
Had to borrow one of your horses, son.
MATTHEW
Proud to lend it.
SULLY
Can't promise you'll get it back.
MATTHEW
No harm.
Sully turns to shake his hand.
SULLY
You ma did a good job raisin' you up.
One of the braves swings up onto the horse with Black Kettle.
BRIAN
(to Sully)
Ain't you ridin' with 'em, Sully?
SULLY
Nope.
BRIAN
Why not?
SULLY
'Fraid of horses.
Mike reacts.
BRIAN
(thinks he's kidding)
Naw.
SULLY
Yep. Always been.
(avoiding Mike's eyes)
Everybody's got somethin' they're 'fraid of, son.
The rest of the Cheyenne mount up.
CHIEF BLACK KETTLE
turns to Mike. Everyone is still. Only the RUSTLE of the horses and the WHISTLE of the wind high in the pines. The Chief signs something to Sully. She looks to him for translation.
SULLY
He just gave you your Cheyenne name... 'Medicine Woman'.
She looks back at Black Kettle, moved by the tribute. The Chief lifts his arm in farewell, and the Indians ride off toward the woods. They watch them go.
MIKE
(to Sully)
What's he going to do now?
SULLY
(staring after the Chief)
What he never wanted to do.
She looks at him.
SULLY
Fight.
They all stare after Black Kettle for a moment... then Sully signals the wolf, which is instantly at his side.
SULLY
I'll be goin'.
Mike seems like she wants to say something, but she doesn't know what. He walks toward the creek and doesn't look back.
LONG SHOT
of the homestead, with Mike and the children by the barn and the Cheyenne headed away in one direction, Sully in the other...
SLOW DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. HOMESTEAD - NIGHT 138
A snow storm rages, fast becoming a blizzard.
MIKE (V.O.)
We didn't see Sully again after that. He seemed to disappear into the winter... But with the winter came Christmas Eve.
INT. HOMESTEAD - CABIN - NIGHT (SAME TIME) 139
Colleen sits long-faced in the rocker, all decked out in her now-finished rose-colored dress, a pair of Mike's fancy shoes, a pretty comb in her curled hair.
MIKE (V.O.)
Colleen had looked forward to the church dance, but when the day came, we were snowed in...
Mike, too, is dressed in her finest. It's been a while since she's looked like this, and she likes it for a change. On the other hand, Brian and Matthew squirm in their suits. The latter goes to the window and check the weather.
MATTHEW
Turnin' into a blizzard out there.
(to Mike)
Can't we change outta these getups?
COLLEEN
No! It's gonna let up any minute.
MATTHEW
Hogwash.
COLLEEN
Shut up!
MIKE
Stop it.
Colleen and Matthew glare at each other.
MIKE
Is that any way to talk on the eve of Jesus' birthday?
They both look away, contrite. Mike goes to the window to confirm Matthew's forecast. She turns to find Colleen crying.
MATTHEW
Aw, gee...
Mike shoots him a look, then sits next to Colleen, putting an arm around her shoulder.
MIKE
Christmas isn't about parties, Colleen.
COLLEEN
(sniffling)
I know. I was just countin' on it for so long.
Mike nods, sympathetic.
BRIAN
How're we gonna get a tree to decorate?
MATTHEW
You go out there, you're gonna get eatin' by the snow monster.
MIKE
(to Brian)
It's not about decorating trees either.
MATTHEW
And it's sure not about dressin' fancy.
MIKE
No... No, it's not. Though I don't think it will hurt to let God see us cleaned up for a change.
Matthew shrugs.
BRIAN
The snow monster?
MIKE
All right now... Let's sing Christmas carols.
No one responds, so she starts singing alone.
MIKE
(singing)
"Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright. Round yon virgin, mother and child, holy infant so tender and mild. Sleep in heavenly peace. Sleep in heavenly peace".
Her voice cracks, for the memories this stirs. The children are alarmed, then ashamed. Colleen is the first to start singing...
COLLEEN
"We wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas..."
... then the boys join in.
CHILDREN
"We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year".
Mike finds a smile and joins them.
ALL
"Good tidings we bring to you and your kin... Good tidings for Christmas and a happy New Year..."
EXT. HOMESTEAD - CABIN - NIGHT 139A
Totally snowbound.
INT. HOMESTEAD - CABIN - NIGHT 140
Candles light the room, as they sit down to a supper of bread and preserves. They bow their heads for grace.
MIKE
Dear Lord, Grant us the strength to accept the misfortunes of this past year. Please give us the courage to face the challenges that lie ahead. Whenever possible, watch over and protect us from harm. We thank you for bringing us together, for our good health and for this bread... And, Lord, please tell Charlotte thank you for her preserves. We think of her often and miss her dearly. Amen.
They look up.
COLLEEN
It always sounds like you're talking to God like he was sittin' here with us.
MIKE
I'd like to think he is.
She passes around the meager dinner. Brian has something on his mind.
BRIAN
Dr. Mike?
MIKE
Hm?
BRIAN
Do you think Ma would mind if I called you Ma, too?
Matthew and Colleen react. Mike looks to them and gets their silent approval.
MIKE
(gently)
No... I don't think she'd mind a bit.
A beat, broken by a SUDDEN KNOCKING on the door. They all jump, startled at the unlikelihood of anyone being out on a night like this. Brian looks frightened. Mike opens it and in blows a gust of snow and with it a half-frozen Sully and the wolf.
MIKE
You're here...
Matthew pulls him inside and pushes the door closed against the wind. They all stand staring at him in amazement, they in their finery, he in his mountain man clothes covered with ice. Mike finally snaps to.
MIKE
Come by the fire.
She steers him next to the stove. A whining is HEARD. They look to the wolf but it's not him. Sully manages to open his coat and pulls from it a wolf puppy. He hands it to Brian. Sully manages to speak.
SULLY
Merry Christmas.
Brian cuddles the pup.
BRIAN
Thanks, Sully!
Sully has thawed enough to pull some brown paper-wrapped packages from his coat. He hands two small ones to Colleen and Matthew. They open them. Matthew's is a whittling knife. Colleen's is a carved hair clip.
COLLEEN
Thank you, Mr. Sully.
MATTHEW
Yeah, thanks.
Lastly, Sully hands a larger package to Mike. She opens it. It's a big, beautifully carved doctor's plaque which reads "M. QUINN, M.D. -- MEDICINE WOMAN". Tears spring to her eyes.
SULLY
Now, that's a shingle.
MIKE
It certainly is... Thank you.
He nods, uncomfortable, then goes to the door and opens it. Snow swirls in. He signals the wolf, as if to make one of his usual exits, but...
MIKE
No, wait...
He turns.
MIKE
Please. Stay. Eat with us.
He hesitates...
EXT. HOMESTEAD - CABIN - NIGHT (SAME TIME) 141
... standing in the doorway, Mike and the children beyond. A beat, then he goes inside. The door closes behind him.
MIKE (V.O.)
I had come to the Colorado territory to find acceptance as a doctor. But I found much more. I found a home, a new family, and for Christmas I received the greatest gift of all... the gift of love.
PULL BACK as SOUND OF SINGING rise from the cabin, a Christmas carol, deck the halls...
FADE OUT:
THE END

 

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