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THE STRANGERS  ~ Episode 9 ~  The Price of Freedom 

 

What has happened up to this point: •

The township is somewhat established by this stage in the season, although there is still a lot of construction going on. There is a main street where most business occurs – there is a Brothel, a Saloon, a Corner Store, a Church, Gov. House with the Gazette Newspaper printing shed out back.

The Newspaper has already been established, although only a few editions have been printed, so it is still fairly new. Up to this episode, there has not really been anything terribly interesting printed, which is a source of depression for HOWE.

HOWE has also already devised a reading group for those in the community who cannot read (after realising no-one was reading his newspaper).

The Eye-Ball Killer has been killing aborigines for some time now, and leaving their bodies in places where they could deliberately be found. Special notice has been made about the eyes missing, a sign to the aborigines that the souls of the victims have been captured.

Up to this episode we still do not know the identity of the Eye-Ball Killer – it is revealed in this episode.

PEMULWUY is already on the hunt for the Eye-Ball Killer.

MORGAN has been continuously harassed by SUB-LT WALSH who has a vendetta against him. He doesn’t trust him because of his silence and is intent on breaking his spirit. This episode, we finally see this climax.

GENERAL NOTES: •

I have left some things such as antiquation of dialogue and colloquialisms, which in a real world environment I would leave to a second draft.

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THE STRANGERS  ~ Episode 9 ~  The Price of Freedom 

  1. Ext. Harbour side bushland Day 1 ESCAPEE CONVICT #1 (50 WD), ESCAPEE CONVICT #2 (50 WD), LT JENNINGS, SOLDIER (50 WD) ESCAPEE CONVICT #1, a boyish young convict & ESCAPEE CONVICT #2, a rough older convict, are shackled at the hands and feet and running through the bushland. ESCAPEE CONVICT #1, struggles to keep up with ESCAPEE CONVICT #2. ESCAPEE CONVICT #2 Move your feet you bastardly gullion! Or I’ll give you a basting you soon won’t forget!... ESCAPEE CONVICT #2 waits for #1 and pulls him along with him. The two convicts come out to a clearing on a harbour-side beach. ESCAPEE CONVICT #1 (panting) wait… I need ta rest a minute… ESCAPEE CONVICT #2 pushes him to the soft sandy ground, and skulks off down the small beach. ESCAPEE CONVICT #2 You lily livered coward… I’ve coughed up tougher things than you… ESCAPEE CONVICT #1 walks over to a rock boulder sticking out of the sand nearby, to take a seat. As he approaches, he notices some blood, then a hand leaning on the other side of the rock. He moves cautiously closer to the rock, curios of his find, but scared of what he is about to discover – a mutilated aboriginal body, sliced open from pelvis to chest bone, the eye’s removed and flies eating away at the rotting flesh. He touches the bloodied hand on the rock, and covers his nose and mouth from the stench emanating from the body. ESCAPEE CONVICT #2 notices the reaction – ESCAPEE CONVICT #2 Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if you aren’t the sorriest piece of… At that moment two soldiers are rowing a boat around the cove, and spot the two escapee convicts resting on the beach. LT JENNINGS (to Soldier) There they are… Hey! Don’t move!

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THE STRANGERS   

~ Episode 9 ~  The Price of Freedom 

The convicts gather themselves and begin to run toward the bush. LT JENNINGS jumps out of the boat and swims/runs towards shore. SOLDIER takes out his musket, aims and shoots at ESCAPEE #2, killing him on the edge of the bush land. LT JENNINGS captures ESCAPEE #1 and awkwardly pins him to the sandy ground. ESCAPEE CONVICT #1 It wasn’t us… we didn’t do it… SOLDIER makes it ashore. LT JENNINGS looks at SOLDIER to see if he understands what this guy is on about. He looks down at his bloodied hands. LT JENNINGS What is this… (to Soldier) Tie him up… SOLDIER picks up ESCAPEE CONVICT #1, whilst LT JENNINGS follows ESCAPEE #1’s footprints back to the boulder and the dead aboriginal body. ESCAPEE CONVICT #1 (screaming) We didn’t do it!!… You gotta believe me… we just found him here like this… it wasn’t us… LT JENNINGS discovers the body and turns to vomit and escape the stench of death. LT JENNINGS (to himself) Not again… you sick bastards! SOLDIER, struggling to control the ESCAPEE, looks over to LT JENNINGS inquisitively. In the background of the scene, hidden in the bush land are two aboriginal men observing these events. They run off. 2. Ext. Town Centre Day 1 JACK MORGAN, SUB-LT WALSH, CONVICT #1 (50 WD), CONVICT #1 (50 WD), CONVICT #2 (50 WD), ANNE, STREET EXTRAS It’s a hot and sunny day and JACK MORGAN and 2 other CONVICTS are carrying heavy blocks of sandstone from a cart to a construction site, under the supervision of SUB-LT WALSH. They are in the middle of town, and there is the regular hustle and bustle of horse and cart, and calls of general business of a new day in the new town. The roads are nothing but mud, and a few wooden structures line what could be called a street – places of business,

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THE STRANGERS  ~ Episode 9 ~  The Price of Freedom 

  saloon, church, corner store, etc.

A beautiful, young woman walks past, in a dirty white dress, going about her daily duties – she drops her purse in the mud right beside where Jack has just laid a load of rocks. JACK MORGAN Oh excuse me madam, you seem to have dropped something… He picks up the purse as ANNE turns in surprise. ANNE I will thank you not to call me madam. I am no such thing. I am of the same ilk as you and your companions. MORGAN They are but mud swilling pigs. I hold you in much higher esteem for such a pretty swine I have not come across in all my time in this dastardly place. ANNE represses a smile. ANNE Well you do better to keep such compliments to yourself Mr… MORGAN Morgan… Jack. ANNE Well Jack… I trust you’re of the honest breed of convict, and that all my pennies are still in its rightful place in my wards purse. MORGAN Trust in me you can… always… but you best be more careful with your pennies, for there is not so much honour in these parts of the world… I am but a dying breed… ANNE …well not too soon I hope…

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THE STRANGERS  ~ Episode 9 ~  The Price of Freedom 

  They smile at each other, as CONVICT #1 & #2 notice MORGAN and his pretty lady, ANNE in discussion and begin whistling and hollering lewdly. MORGAN Like I said… a dying breed… SUB-LT WALSH notices the commotion and walks up to MORGAN and ANNE, giving MORGAN a mighty whack across the back with his baton. ANNE lets out a screech of surprise. SUB-LT WALSH Is this pathetic excuse of a man bothering you my dear? ANNE No!... no… he was just… SUB-LT WALSH He was just shirking his duties, that’s what he was doing… (to Morgan) – Get back to work you swine, or I’ll crack you another one so hard you’ll be seeing angels. MORGAN looks at ANNE embarrassedly. He slinks off ANNE (To Morgan) Good day to you sir… (to Guard more gruffly) And to you sir! As ANNE turns to go, SUB-LT WALSH grabs her by the arm roughly. SUB-LT WALSH Pretty girls such as yourself should be more careful in these parts… here there are but savages of all kinds, all on the hunt for fresh meat… ANNE wrenches her arm back and storms off as SUB-LT WALSH laughs to himself. 3. Ext. Palmer’s Farm PALMER, ABORIGINE #1, ABORIGINE #2,

Sunset 1

It’s sunset, and in a clearing in the bush, beside a river is PALMER’S farm. PALMER is tending to his potato crop with a hoe, when young aborigines approach him.

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THE STRANGERS  ~ Episode 9 ~  The Price of Freedom 

 

PALMER Well hello there… They look at him pleadingly. ABORIGINE #1 pulls out a potato from behind his back and proffers it to PALMER. PALMER You’ve come back for more huh? Well, look I’d like to give you more, but I just can’t spare any… The ABORIGINES look at each other. They talk to each other in their native tongue, trying to figure out what to do. ABORIGINE #2, a young girl, angrily snatches the potato off ABORIGINE #1 and steps forcefully toward PALMER, offering again. PALMER Look, calm down now… I can’t give you any more… I need to provide for my family… (he points to his hut)… we need to eat… do you understand? ABORIGINE #2 shakes her head angrily, grabs PALMER’S hand and places the potato in his palm. ABORIGINE #1 & #2 speak angrily to one another, then look about the clearing anxiously. ABORIGINE #1 walks up to PALMER, points to his chest – ABORIGINE You… fly… He makes the hand gesture of a bird in flight. There is a loud holler that emanates from the bush. PALMER looks confused, but suddenly realizes he is in danger. The ABORIGINES run off to the bush land, whilst PALMER cautiously walks back inside his hut. 4. Int. Palmer’s Farm PALMER, PALMER’S WIFE, PALMER’S SON

Evening 1

PALMER enters the hut anxiously, and slams the door shut, securing it with a chair. His WIFE, is knitting by the fire place and his son is sleeping in the corner under a blanket. PALMER Gather your things… quickly!

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THE STRANGERS   

~ Episode 9 ~  The Price of Freedom  WIFE What is it? What’s happened? PALMER Just do as I say woman – we haven’t much time…

WIFE gathers up sleeping son, as screaming and hollering is heard outside the hut. PALMER looks out his window to see his hut surrounded by aborigines and his crops are being set on fire. PALMER Shite! What fray is here? WIFE I’m scared John… what’s happening? WIFE screams as large spears come crashing through the roof and walls. PALMER I don’t know… just stay low… I’ll be right back… WIFE No John! Don’t… 5. Ext. Palmer’s Farm PALMER, PALMER’S WIFE, PALMER’S SON (N/S), PEMULWUY, ABORIGINAL TRIBE EXTRAS

Evening 1

PALMER calls out to the ABORIGINES and walks out onto his porch, waving his hands in the air. PALMER Please… stop… we are unarmed… what is it you want? The ABORIGINES gather around the front of the house, some with spears, some with fire, all looking at him fiercely. PEMULWUY is at the centre facing PALMER. PEMULWUY (in native tongue) This is our land white man. You must leave. PALMER I don’t understand…. Haven’t I been good to you people... I gave you my crop… I’ve always tried to

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THE STRANGERS  ~ Episode 9 ~  The Price of Freedom 

 

help… I don’t understand this attack… all just because I wouldn’t give you more potatoes?? PEMULWUY (more fiercely, in native tongue) This is OUR land white man. YOU MUST LEAVE! The ABORIGINES begin to get crazy again, pushing aside PALMER, who struggles and fights them off unsuccessfully. They enter the hut, and separate WIFE from SON, WIFE screaming. PALMER NO!! Don’t you touch them! PAMLER manages to pull WIFE towards him, as SON struggles in the hands of two ABORIGINES. He breaks free, and stopping on the porch where PALMER and WIFE are – PALMER Run son! Run as fast as you can! Alert the authorities! RUN!! As SON runs through the burning fields, PEMULWUY’S right hand man, holds up his spear, aims and throws it at the boy, killing him. WIFE Noooo!!! PALMER is restrained by two ABORIGINES whilst they set fire to his hut. Then leaving them defeated and with nothing, the ABORIGINES leave. PEMULWUY (softly in native tongue to PALMER) This is our land white man. You must leave. COMMERCIAL BREAK

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THE STRANGERS  Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

  6. Ext. Main Street - Noticeboard HOWE, TOWNSFOLK EXTRAS

Afternoon 2

HOWE is going about town, taking down old copies of his newspaper from bulletin boards. He seems despondent. At one noticeboard he notices scrawled across the newspaper – free toilet paper! Deflated, he looks around him to see if he is being watched, then continues on with his duties. 7. Ext. Main Street – Chapel Afternoon 2 PALMER, PALMER’S WIFE (N/S), FATHER IGNATIUS, LT-GEN BELL, GENERAL CONGREGATION EXTRAS, 2 x PALL BEARERS, A CONGREGATION of people are forming outside the chapel. PALMER & WIFE are being greeted and consoled by friends. A horse and cart hearse arrives and two PALLBEARERS carry a medium sized coffin into the church under the watchful eye of LT-GEN BELL. Once the coffin is inside, FATHER IGNATIUS softly ushers people inside to start the service. LT-GEN BELL approaches PALMER, who hands his grieving wife over to FATHER IGNATIUS so he can talk to BELL. LT-GEN BELL Walk with me? My condolences to you and your wife. Little Tommy was a fine young man… he had your firmness and conviction. PALMER I… I’m not sure just how firm I am at the moment… I’m struggling to keep it together… for my wife… for the people who need me… I just don’t understand it! LT-GEN BELL Rest assured, I have all my men out there, searching for these heathens – justice will be had! PALMER looks defeated. PALMER No… it’s not use… these natives have a different way of life to us, a different way of thinking… LT-GEN BELL That doesn’t excuse… PALMER interrupts – PALMER

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THE STRANGERS   

Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom  It would be like punishing a baby for soiling its pants. It doesn’t know any better… I just don’t understand the severity…

LT-GEN BELL looks at PALMER with concern. LT-GEN BELL With all do respect, we’re not dealing with children here Stephen – these are vicious, animalistic savages! PALMER But don’t you see? They’re no more savage then we are! They kill to protect their home and their families, as would any of us! But I was trying to reach out to them… I had held out the olive branch of friendship to them… and I thought I was making some ground… LT-GEN BELL looks confused. PALMER Why just the other day, I was working on my farm, digging up some potatoes, when a couple of local aborigines approached… cautiously… they were intrigued by the fruit of the land I was cultivating – imagine – they had never seen a potato before! But putting aside all instincts, their fear of white man, they still approached… I gave them some potatoes… I got my wife to cook some up… I even showed them how to tend to the farm, so that they in turn might be able to grow some for their own… LT-GEN BELL And soon you found your crop empty leaving you unable to provide for your family! Don’t you see, there is no reasoning with these natives – they see what we have done to this land, the advances we have made and are jealous of us for it. They think what is ours is also theirs! PALMER No, it goes deeper than that. I had a real connection with these aborigines. We understood one another. Yes, they did come back and try to steal some of my crop, but I explained to them that this was mine and they could not just take without consideration! They understood this – I could see it in their eyes… which makes this… attack, all the more… unfathomable…

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THE STRANGERS   

Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom  LT-GEN BELL Stephen, there is no point trying to find reason in this. It’s in their nature to be beasts… they live in the wild for Christ’s sake! Their women and children run naked and play in the mud! These are not the calling cards of a civilized society! And I’m sorry, but a few days of playing nice with them will not teach them courtesy and good manners…

PALMER looks pensively off in the distance. PALMER How long have we known each other William – 10… 15 years? We used to play together in the streets, and frolic in the fields… that tree atop the hill still holds the name of my first love… LT-GEN BELL …I remember we used to throw dog poop in my neighbours front yard! They both laugh. PALMER sighs – PALMER …well imagine William… imagine, when we were young, an army, the likes of which we have never seen nor dared to imagine, descended on our homes, kicked us out, destroying all our belongings and the things we hold sacred, they poison our loved ones with diseases we’d never imagined existed… how would you have reacted? (pause) They just want to be free… 8. Ext. Bush Land PEMULWUY, ABORIGINES #1, ABORIGINE #2

Afternoon 2

PEMULWUY is perched atop a rock boulder which overseas the entire settlement from a distance. Ships can be seen docked in the harbour. He is approached by ABORIGINE #1 & #2. ABORIGINE #1 Elder, I come bearing some good news. The one they call the Eye-Ball Killer, the spirit warrior that has hunted our kin, has been captured by the white soldiers! PEMULWUY does not react.

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THE STRANGERS  Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

 

PEMULWUY What did he look like? ABORIGINE #2 He was young, not much more than a child by their standards. They killed his accomplice at the scene. The pensive look on PEMULWUY’S face does not waver for a second. PEMULWUY Leave me! 9. Ext. Main Street – Construction site Afternoon 2 MORGAN, SUB-LT WALSH, ANNE, CONVICT #1, CONVICT #2, PALMER, LT-GEN BELL, HOWE, DRUNK MAN, TOWNSFOLK EXTRAS A rugged and sweaty MORGAN is carrying bricks from a cart and making a pile in the construction site a few metres away. As he pauses to wipe his brow, he spots ANNE across the street, who has also spotted him. He winks and smiles at her, and she smiles back warmly, giving a little curtsy. SUB-LT WALSH and CONVICTS #1 & #2 are working in the background. 10. Ext. Main Street – Gov. House Afternoon 2 PALMER, LT-GEN BELL, HOWE, DRUNK MAN, TOWNSFOLK EXTRAS PALMER and LT-GEN BELL are continuing their conversation, walking on their way past construction site. LT-GEN BELL We all want to be free Stephen. But freedom is a harsh mistress, who dishes it out and reels it back in as indiscriminately as the tides. And we, the government of the British Empire, are the conduit for this freedom – PALMER scoffs – PALMER You call this freedom? LT-GEN BELL Look at the freedoms you enjoy – you have land in abundance which you could never have found in England. You are free to breathe its clean, unpolluted air, with streets devoid of overcrowding and disease. You have more here than you ever could have had back home…

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THE STRANGERS   

Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom  PALMER But at what cost…

11. Ext. Main Street – Brothel Afternoon 2 PALMER, LT-GEN BELL, BENITA, DRUNK MAN, TOWNSFOLK EXTRAS PALMER and LT-GEN BELL are walking past the Brothel, when a DRUNK MAN is thrown out on his hide. BENITA I told ya, no-one touches the girls in the cooch show! If you wanna touch, I suggest you come back when you have more money! PALMER & LT-GEN BELL step over the drunk man and continue walking and talking. 12. Ext. Main Street – Construction site Afternoon 2 MORGAN, SUB-LT WALSH, CONVICT #1, CONVICT #2, PALMER, LT-GEN BELL, HOWE, TOWNSFOLK EXTRAS PALMER And what about these poor saps… where’s their freedom? He points to MORGAN and CONVICTS #1 & #2 working at construction site, under the supervision of SUB-LT WALSH. INTERCUT: CONVICT #1 & #2 are whispering between each other – CONVICT #1 Ok, the Lt-Gen is coming this way… when Walsh sees him, they’re bound to pass pleasantries. We’ll have a few moments whilst he’s distracted, and we can make a run for the bush. Got it? CONVICT #2 nods in agreement. CONVICT #2 What about Morgan? We should let him in on it. CONVICT #1 No, fuck him. He can look after himself. Back to PALMER & LT-GEN BELL –

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THE STRANGERS  Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

 

LT-GEN BELL They’re a part of the collective freedom. We’re all building something here Stephen – all of us. You’re building a home and family, they’re building a town ship, but collectively we’re building a new nation! A new nation that we, as it’s first citizens, get to design from scratch! SUB-LT WALSH sees LT-GEN BELL up ahead of him and waves in acknowledgement. CONVICT #1 & #2 and MORGAN are all together. CONVICT #1 Let’s go!! CONVICT #2 looks at MORGAN ashamedly. CONVICT #2 (to MORGAN) We’re escaping… Do you wanna come with us? MORGAN What? When? CONVICT #1 Right now!! Come on! We’ve gotta go! CONVICT #1 grabs CONVICT #2 by the shirt and pulls him away. CONVICT #2 tries to do the same to MORGAN. HOWE is posting a new newsletter on a bulletin board nearby and is watching the three men. MORGAN No! Leave me out of this! I want no part of it! PALMER and LT-GEN BELL turn a corner out of site. HOWE looks toward SUB-LT WALSH who is now turning to see the three men awkwardly making a dash for the bush land nearby – MORGAN is struggling to get free and stay. SUB-LT WALSH runs over to them with a baton in hand, singles out MORGAN and clubs him. HOWE, knowing MORGAN had no part in the escape attempt tries to come to his defense. HOWE Hey! HEY! NO! This man is innocent! SUB-LT WALSH

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THE STRANGERS  Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

 

Stay out of this! This does not concern you! SUB-LT WALSH violently pushes HOWE away. 13. Ext. Main Street PALMER, LT-GEN BELL, TOWNSFOLK EXTRAS

Afternoon 2

PALMER is angry. PALMER But why must we all suffer at the hands of this barbaric regime? LT-GEN BELL is taken aback. LT-GEN BELL We appreciate you’re sacrifice Stephen… we all do. But we all have to make sacrifices here… I don’t think you appreciate the importance of this very day! 200 yrs from now, your great great grandchildren will look back on this and marvel at the hard work and dedication all of us made to create this nation – all of us! Especially the little people. PALMER looks at LT-GEN BELL quizzically. 14. Ext. Town Square Afternoon 2 MORGAN, SUB-LT WALSH, HOWE, CONVICTS #1 & #2, ANNE, TOWNSFOLK EXTRAS SUB-LT WALSH drags a beaten MORGAN into the Town Square, where he is slumped over a tree stump. SUB-LT WALSH This dishonorable convict stands accused of attempted escape and leading astray two other convicts. And for his punishment, he will suffer the humiliation of 20 lashings in public. TOWNSFOLK begin to crowd around. SUB-LT WALSH tears off MORGAN’S shirt to reveal his back. MORGAN is too weak from the beating to protest. HOWE protests to SUB-LT WALSH and to the public.

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THE STRANGERS   

Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom  HOWE This is outrageous! This man is innocent! He had no part in the escape! He was an unwilling participant! (to other convicts) Tell them cowards, tell them the truth!

CONVICTS #1 & #2 remain silent. At this moment, ANNE walks out of a shop and into the scene, to find MORGAN being whipped. 15. Ext. Main Street PALMER, LT-GEN BELL, TOWNSFOLK EXTRAS

Afternoon 2

LT-GEN BELL We all have to make sacrifices Stephen… do you think I would willingly want to be here leaving my wife and children back home without their husband and father? I’m doing all this for them! PALMER Doing what exactly? LT-GEN BELL Creating a better world to live in. INTERCUT: shot of a group of drunken aborigines huddled together in a corner, sharing a bottle of rum. LT-GEN BELL And I’m damned sure these savages aren’t going to spoil it for me… (correcting himself) for us! PALMER What are you trying to say? LT-GEN BELL I swore an oath to the crown to make this land habitable at any cost. We knew what we would be up against… and we also knew the things we would have to do to ensure it. PALMER gives LT-GEN BELL a stern look. 16. Int. Church Afternoon 2 FATHER IGNATIUS, PALMER’S WIFE, CONREGATION EXTRAS FATHER IGNATIUS is performing a sermon.

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THE STRANGERS  Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

 

FATHER IGNATIUS …we must be wary of the devil, for he walks among us in disguise. He wears the masks that will most appeal to us, to deceive us. He will make us think he is doing what’s right, when he is actually performing evil… but above all, we must remember, he too was once a servant of God, who went astray… 17. Ext. Main Street PALMER, LT-GEN BELL, TOWNSFOLK EXTRAS

Afternoon 2

PALMER Wait… are you telling me, YOU are responsible for the attack on my farm? LT-GEN BELL Stephen – it’s easy for you to cast judgment! We’ve worked hard to build and defend this colony, to make it safe and habitable for the likes of you. We did what we had to do, whilst you free settlers came in and scooped up the land and reaped all the rewards! PALMER Of course… now I understand! They weren’t fighting me for my potatoes! They attacked because they were threatened! It was retaliation! LT-GEN BELL The time has come Stephen to align yourself to the greater good – the collective freedom! PALMER You killed my son you son of a bitch! You drove those natives to attack my farm, and to kill my son! Where’s his freedom?? LT-GEN BELL We need to stick together Stephen, otherwise all we have is chaos… PALMER Chaos… PALMER is extremely distraught and pulls out a gun, aims it at LT-GEN BELL and shoots him without hesitation. LT-GEN BELL drops to the floor, staring wide-eyed at his best friend, PALMER, as he dies.

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Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

18. Ext. Town Square Afternoon 2 MORGAN, SUB-LT WALSH, HOWE, CONVICTS #1 & #2, ANNE, TOWNSFOLK EXTRAS The TOWNSFOLK are momentarily distracted by the sound of a gun shot, but their focus returns on the overly brutal lashings performed by SUB-LT WALSH on MORGAN. There is a sense that all reason has collapse and the town has descended into chaos. ANNE clutches her belongings close to her chest as she weeps for MORGAN. HOWE is incensed and has somewhat lost the plot himself. HOWE Why isn’t anyone doing anything?!? This man is innocent! I saw it with my own eyes!... this is madness!! 19. Ext. Main Street PALMER, LT-GEN BELL, TOWNSFOLK EXTRAS

Afternoon 2

A crowd gathers in the street, with a few TOWNSFOLK rushing to LT-GEN BELL and PALMER. PALMER drops the gun to the ground and in a state of shock, is taken away. 20. Int. Church Afternoon 2 FATHER IGNATIUS, PALMER’S WIFE, CONREGATION EXTRAS PALMER’S WIFE looks over her shoulder at the door of the church with concern – she can sense something is wrong. FATHER IGNATIUS Lord father, we offer up the only son of Mr & Mrs Stephen Palmer – Tommy, and ask that your eternal light may shine upon him. We know he is now by your side, free from the suffering and constraints of this mortal coil. We also ask forgiveness for those who have so brutally cut short his life, and that you may bring swift justice to heal this community and to ease the pain the Palmer’s are feeling today. 21. Ext. Town Square Afternoon 2 MORGAN, SOLDIER #1, SOLDIER #2, HOWE, ANNE, TOWNSFOLK EXTRAS

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THE STRANGERS  Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

  MORGAN is being tended to by HOWE and ANNE. SOLDIER #1 & #2 arrive to drag him away. The TOWNSFOLK disperse as if nothing had happened. 22.

Ext. Colony

Sunset 2

Day turns to night in the colony. 23. Int. Barracks MORGAN, SUB-LT WALSH, SOLDIER

Evening 2

MORGAN is lying on his bed on his front side, in agony – cuts all over his back. He overhears a conversation outside his cell. (V.O.) SUB-LT WALSH Is he here? (V.O.) SOLDIER He’s in his cell. (V.O.) SUB-LT WALSH Good. Make sure nobody comes in or out of his cell. No-one is to see him. NO-ONE do you understand? (V.O.) SOLDIER Yes sir… but food… (V.O.) SUB-LT WALSH He doesn’t get any food or water until tomorrow. (V.O.) SOLDIER If you don’t mind me asking sir – what did he do? (V.O.) SUB-LT WALSH Nothing… you have to understand son, that in order to control a convict, you must first break their spirit. (V.O.) SOLDIER Oh… (V.O.) SUB-LT WALSH You’ll do well to remember that if you want to be in a position of authority like me one day! SUB-LT WALSH leaves. For a moment there is silence, MORGAN squirms in bed trying to get comfortable, then foot steps to his cell, and a clang on the bars.

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Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom  SOLDIER Whatever you did, I sure hope I never piss him off!

MORGAN mumbles something inaudibly. SOLDIER What was that? MORGAN I need to go to the bathroom… SOLDIER I’m not allowed to let anyone in or out of this place… MORGAN moans in agony. SOLDIER …ok… sure… I guess the bathroom is ok… SOLDIER unlocks cell, and escorts MORGAN to the bathroom, leaving him to soak his wounds, whilst he waits outside. Another cellmate begins to holler and make noise, and SOLDIER goes to investigate. MORGAN takes the opportunity to escape. 24. Ext. Bush Land McINTYRE, HUNTER #1, HUNTER #2

Evening 2

McINTYRE on horseback with HUNTERS #1 & #2 also on horses, set out into the bush to hunt for game. COMMERCIAL BREAK

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THE STRANGERS  Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

  25. Ext. Bush land Morning 3 DEAD ABORIGINE (N/S), PEMULWUY, ABORIGINE #1 (50 WD), ABORGINE #2, ABORIGINE #3 Open on DEAD ABORIGINE hanging upside down from a tree, gutted from pelvis to chest bone, arms swinging. PEMULWUY appears on the scene with ABORGINE #1, #2 & #3. He is outraged. PEMULWUY Get him down. ABORIGINE #2 & #3 get DEAD ABORIGINE down off tree. PEMULWUY paces back and forth trying to figure out what to do. ABORIGINE #1 How can this be? We saw the killer captured yesterday and taken away by white man in red suit. The other elders must be right in their warning – the hunting spirit is angry with us for attacking white man… PEMULWUY stops in his tracks and spots handkerchief on the ground. PEMULWUY No, this is the work of white man… PEMULWUY picks up the handkerchief and notices an insignia on it – JM. ABORGINE #1 notices a piece of paper nailed to a nearby tree. He grabs it and brings it to PEMULWUY. ABORIGINE #1 What is this elder? PEMULWUY looks at the paper – it’s a wanted poster, with a sketched likeness of JACK MORGAN. PEMULWUY focuses on two particular letters which suddenly seem familiar to him – J(ack) M(organ). 26. Int. Newspaper Shed HOWE, LT JENNINGS, ANNE, STREET EXTRAS

Morning 3

HOWE is in his shed cleaning the printing press. LT JENNINGS arrives. LT JENNINGS Ahoy friend, how thee be this fine morning! HOWE smiles warmly and shakes his hand.

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THE STRANGERS  Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

 

HOWE I am well Lt. What can I do for you? LT JENNINGS I’ve just stopped by to see if you had the latest shipping news for the Admiral. HOWE shakes his head. HOWE I’m afraid I am still waiting for it myself. But I’ll print off an extra copy and have it forwarded to you as soon as it comes in. LT JENNINGS That’s fine George. Much appreciated. LT JENNINGS continues to hang around, prompting HOWE HOWE So, how are things with you? LT JENNINGS Oh, they are well… I…ah… don’t suppose you’ve heard… I captured the Eye-Ball Killer! HOWE …I… was unaware… that’s fantastic… news? After a pause… HOWE Ok forgive my ignorance, but I must ask – who or what is the Eye-Ball Killer? LT JENNINGS is excited, like a kid who has a fantastic story to tell. LT JENNINGS You haven’t heard? There has been a menace around town who has been killing natives in an extremely horrendous manner – chopping off heads, gutting his victims… always cutting out their eyes… HOWE is astounded by the violence, but also angry he didn’t know. HOWE

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THE STRANGERS   

Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom  See this is exactly what gets my goat! I am the sole reporter in this colony, and I didn’t even know there was a serial killer in my own back yard!... I’m sorry, I should be congratulating you, not ranting on about my inadequacies… well done old friend. You must feel honoured.

HOWE pats him on the back in a friendly manner, LT JENNINGS smiles. LT JENNINGS Why don’t you write about this in your next edition! HOWE I cannot… I’ve been ordered to only print the shipping news and auction results… I am so bored with stuff, and so are my readers… but this… this Eye-Ball Killer – this is real news. People need to know these stories, and other injustices I have come to see in the colony… LT JENNINGS nods in agreement. HOWE Why, just yesterday I saw a man being publicly whipped for something he had no part in! LT JENNINGS Who was this man? HOWE A convict by the name of Jack Morgan… LT JENNINGS interrupts – LT JENNINGS No, I mean, who performed the injustice? HOWE Oh, Sub-Lt Walsh… two of his convicts had attempted to escape his care, leaving behind Jack, the only honest one, and he was flogged for it. I tried to protest, but it was all in vain. Sub-Lt Walsh had no intention of listening to reason… LT JENNINGS laughs softly. LT JENNINGS

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Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom  Oh yes, I know Sub-Lt Walsh well… he seems to have a vendetta against everyone, in particular me. He doesn’t seem to like that I was elevated to the rank of full Lt before him… In all due regard, I overheard this morning that Jack had escaped the care of Sub-Lt Walsh.

LT JENNINGS and HOWE share a satisfied smile. Outside the doorway, ANNE walks by with a basket full of clothes. She waves at HOWE who is standing by the doorway with LT JENNINGS. HOWE She’s a lovely girl – she’s part of my reading group. She’s very bright and very ambitious… LT JENNINGS Ah, indeed… she’ll make a lucky man very happy one day. HOWE How about you? You’re both single people in need? Perfect match if you ask me! LT JENNINGS Alas I cannot. I am betrothed to a lovely woman back in the homeland. We are expecting our first child in the summer… besides it’s been a long time since I’ve touched the soft skin of a woman… HOWE Ah ‘tis a shame… every man needs the gentle caress of a woman, to ease the tension of this brutal life and to boost his confidence in his masculinity. No-one would disregard you for that, especially for being so long away from the one you love… LT JENNINGS I… cannot… it would be disrespectful to my wife and child. HOWE With all due respect Jennings, as a friend I feel I need to tell you – this is why you lack the respect from the Colony. You’re too nice! People need to see you being reckless and taking command every so often, they need to see that you are a man after all! LT JENNINGS looks concerned.

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THE STRANGERS   

Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom  HOWE Take my advice, go see Maison Benita – book a lady of the night, take her out on the town and let them all see that you don’t care.

HOWE is smiling in excitement. LT JENNINGS pats HOWE on the shoulder smiling and walks out into the street. 27. Ext. Main Street LT JENNINGS, SUB-LT WALSH, MAISON BENITA, STREET EXTRAS

Day 3

LT JENNINGS is walking down the main street of town when he is approached by SUB-LT WALSH. SUB-LT WALSH Well, well, I hear there are congratulations in order… the BIG man has finally caught himself a catch! And not just any old catch, but the mother of all catches – the EYE-BALL KILLER! LT JENNINGS looks at SUB-LT WALSH cautiously, unsure if he’s being serious or taking the piss. LT JENNINGS Why thank you Sub-Lt Walsh, that’s much appreciated, especially coming from you… I know we’ve had out differences in the pa… SUB-LT WALSH Let me make this very clear to you Jennings. I don’t think you’re man enough to be Lt. Your very actions at the capture of the Eye Ball Killer is testament to that… can’t handle a bit of blood, you baulk at any sign of threat SUB-LT WALSH false lunges toward LT JENNINGS, catching him off guard and causing him to flinch. LT JENNINGS N..n..need I re..remind you… I outrank you Walsh… you pull this shit and… SUB-LT WALSH And you’ll what? You haven’t got the balls to stand up to me… do you?

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THE STRANGERS  Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

  SUB-LT WALSH is right in LT JENNINGS face, and he is concerned as to how this appears to the public.

LT JENNINGS Pull your head in… you let them see us like this, and they’ll have no respect for either one of us… SUB-LT WALSH No, just you. None of them do. And you think catching the Eye-Ball Killer is going to change that? You’re more pathetic than I thought… if you want their respect, you’re gotta be rough like them, you’re gotta be a hard nosed fucker like me and show them who’s boss… you’re a pathetic wimpering coward of a man and you’ll always be a pathetic wimpering coward Jennings… I’m older than you, smarter than you and tougher than you. It’s only a matter of time the Admiral will see the mistake he made in promoting you over me… SUB-LT WALSH stalks off, leaving LT JENNINGS awkwardly alone in the middle of the road, dodging traffic, feeling the eyes of the townsfolk on him. 28. Ext. Brothel - alley way LT JENNINGS, MAISON BENITA

Day 3

LT JENNINGS sneaks off down an alley way and knocks on an unmarked door. MAISON BENITA opens the door slightly, peering through the gap to see who it is – when she realises it’s LT JENNINGS she opens with warmth and surprise. BENITA Lt Jennings! Well, what a surprise it is to see you here… what can I do for you? LT JENNINGS looks very nervous, and BENITA can tell. BENITA It’s ok honey, I know exactly what you want. Come on in LT JENNINGS No!... not right now… Tonight. BENITA turns back to face LT JENNINGS as he tries to hand over some money.

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Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom  BENITA That’s alright honey, you can pay me tonight. I know you’re good for it.

LT JENNINGS is nervously looking around, scared he might get caught. BENITA sees his nervousness. BENITA It’s ok honey, we’re professionals. Satisfaction and discretion is guaranteed. LT JENNINGS relaxes a little, but emboldens. LT JENNINGS No, I want them to see. I want them all to see… tonight. BENITA smiles knowingly. BENITA I know just the girl for you. 29. Ext. Aboriginal camp PEMULWUY, BENNELONG, ABORIGINAL TRIBE EXTRAS

Day 3

PEMULWUY arrives to the camp with his three ABORIGINAL TRIBESMEN in tow. BENNELONG, sitting in an open hut carving spears, gets up to greet him. BENNELONG How goes the hunt? I see you come back empty handed. PEMULWUY holds up the handkerchief with the JM insignia he found. PEMULWUY He has killed another, but he is becoming reckless. I found a cloth with his mark on it. BENNELONG You have been tracking him for days, but you still have not found him – are you not chasing ghosts? PEMULWUY No! He is a skillful hunter, like me. We share this common trait, but he is only a man. He will soon see

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THE STRANGERS   

Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom  the monster he has awakened in me. Our people must be avenged!

PEMULWUY signals to his three tribesmen, and they walk off into the bush again. 30. Ext. Bush Land MORGAN, PEMULWUY, ABORIGINAL TRIBE EXTRAS

Day 3

MORGAN is washing himself down by a river, with a small fire going nearby. PEMULWUY and his TRIBESMEN approach the camp from the bush edge. As they slowly encroach, MORGAN realizes he is somewhat cornered – his belongings are out of reach and the only escape is through the water. PEMULWUY and the TRIBESMEN step gradually closer, spears in hand ready to throw at the slightest move by MORGAN. PEMULWUY in front, is holding the handkerchief in hand, seemingly locked in a state of fury. MORGAN begins to tremble, and falls over awkwardly in the water, looking rather weak. He inadvertently shows his whipping scars. PEMULWUY now on top of him, spear in one hand, handkerchief in the other, examines this scared looking man, hand raised in protection. He realizes MORGAN is cowering – this is not the actions of fierce killer. He is innocent. PEMULWUY retreats taking the aborigines with him. It was like they were never there – like an apparition. 31. Int. Courtroom PALMER, JUDGE, EXTRAS – BAILIFF, PLAINTIFF, JURORS, OFFICERS, ACCUSED, TOWNS FOLK, HOWE

Day 3

JUDGE is sitting behind a desk, gabble in hand, dressed in red robe complete with hair piece and glasses. The courtroom is somewhat rowdy with townsfolk and family of the ACCUSED. Several ACCUSED are locked away in a small square in the room, surrounded by a half body height railing made of wood. There are guards watching them and controlling the crowd. JUDGE For the crime of first degree murder, I sentence you to death by hanging.

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Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

JUDGE slams his gabble on the table. PALMER But Your Honour! It was self defense! Lt Bell had wantonly placed my family in danger and gave no second thought to warn me. He killed my son! The crowd are in an uproar. JUDGE slams his gabble a few more times to attain order. JUDGE Order!! Order!! Let me tell you something sir. Murdering an Officer of the Crown is a serious offence. One that is justifiably punishable by death. No-one is above the law – not even Lt Bell. It was not your duty or right to exact punishment on Lt Bell. Noone has the freedom to take the law into their own hands – without these laws there would be total chaos! The crowd are ironically doing their best to be chaotic. HOWE is in the crowd looking outraged and scribbles something down on his notepad. PALMER is dragged off to his cell by one of the court OFFICERS, still pleading. PALMER He killed my son! Lt Bell is the murderer… not me!... 32. Ext. Bush Land / Farm JACK MORGAN, ANNE,

Day 3

MORGAN is strolling along a dirt road, when he sees a farm up ahead. Seeing a light on in one window, he sneaks up to the house quietly and peaks through the window. Seeing no movement inside, he goes to the door of the kitchen, slowly opens it, and quietly walks in. Once in, he starts grabbing whatever food he can find, and stuffing his pockets. A moment later, in walks ANNE with a plate, and scared at the sight of MORGAN she lets out a scream and drops the plate. MORGAN lunges at her, to cover her mouth. After a momentary panic, MORGAN has realized who she is – the woman he met in town and flirted with. MORGAN

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THE STRANGERS   

Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom  I’m sorry to scare you. It’s me… Jack… we met in town… you dropped your purse?

ANNE gradually stops struggling as she realizes who Jack is, and realises he’s harmless. ANNE What are you doing here? Are you crazy? If the owner catches you here, he will put a bullet through that chest of yours! MORGAN I’m sorry… I didn’t know you lived here… I was just looking for some food… ANNE looks at him confusedly. MORGAN I escaped from the barracks… ANNE Well… that’s probably best, but you can’t stay here. It’s too dangerous. MORGAN looks pathetic like a child in need. ANNE Oh… ok look, see that barn on the other side of the farm? Meet me there at sun down. I can’t promise you anything, but I’ll try... MORGAN smiles, grabs a piece of bread on the table, smiles coyly at ANNE (who smiles back), then leaves. 33. Int. Prison Cell PALMER, HOWE, ESCAPEE #1, PRISON GUARD (N/S)

Day 3

HOWE is ushered in by PRISON GUARD, and taken to PALMER’S cell. Beside his cell, is another cell housing ESCAPEE #1. PALMER’S cell is grimy, made of 3 slimy stone walls and iron bars. HOWE approaches the bars of PALMER’S cell. HOWE Mr Palmer… my name is George Howe. I’m the copywriter of the local paper – the Sydney Gazette… I was present at your trial, and find it a grave injus…

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THE STRANGERS   

Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom  PALMER What do you want from me? HOWE I… I just think… look, I have been observing the events of the past few days around the colony. I am dismayed by the lack of justice dished out by the hands of the authorities, as I am outraged by the verdict handed to you for defending the honour of your wife and son…

PALMER seems to be unconcerned. HOWE People need to know what’s going on here! And I am in a position to tell them. (pause) I want to write your story and publish it in my paper for the whole colony to see… PALMER So… what do you need to be hassling me for? Write it. HOWE Well… yes, quite… but I want to tell it from your perspective. I need you to tell me your version of events. I suspect with the ground swelling of emotion in the colony produced by this article, we could see you free from these bars and off death row! At this point, ESCAPEE #1, who has been overhearing the conversation, pipes up. ESCAPEE #1 Excuse me sir… sir… if it’s a story of injustice you’re after, then you can’t look past me! I’ll tell you my story… HOWE (skeptical) Pre-tell… what are you in here for sir? ESCAPEE #1 I’ve been convicted of the Eye-Ball Killer’s murders! But I didn’t do it… I’m innocent… HOWE Well I’m sure… but the court isn’t in the habit of making such grave errors of judgment twice in the same day…

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THE STRANGERS   

Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom  ESCAPEE #1 I may be guilty of a lot of things, but the truth is sir, the only thing I am guilty of on the day I was captured, was for escaping the barracks with my mate…

HOWE is suddenly intrigued. ESCAPEE #1 The authorities are using me as a patsy… HOWE …to cover up the fact that they can’t find the real EyeBall Killer! ESCAPEE #1 That’s right… do I look like someone who could gut another man and pluck out his eyeballs? HOWE So… that means… the killer is still on the loose?!? HOWE grabs his things and urgently runs to the door. 34. Ext. Barn - Farm MORGAN, ANNE,

Evening 3

MORGAN is sneaking up to the barn, quietly opens the barn door, struggles to see through the shadows, and cautiously walks in. After a few steps inside, he suddenly turns to hear the barn doors opening again and freezes in panic – but he soon realizes it’s just ANNE. MORGAN Oh you scared me! ANNE You frighten too easily! What are a man or a mouse? MORGAN (flirting) I seem to recall you were somewhat frightened when we bumped into each other in the kitchen earlier! ANNE smiles cheekily. She is carrying a basket with left over food, and a bottle of rum, and presents each item to him. ANNE

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THE STRANGERS  Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

 

I couldn’t get much, but I got as much as I thought I could get away with. I have some cheese, some bread… oh and of course, a bottle of rum! ANNE giggles naughtily. MORGAN How on earth did you get this? I don’t want to get you into any trouble… ANNE No trouble at all… the owner is a cowardly drunk. He never keeps stock of what he has… MORGAN You’re an inspiration… I could just kiss yo-ou… They look at each other, smiling coyly. MORGAN breaks the ice, and dives into the basket to eat. ANNE Well… I’ll leave you to it then… you can sleep here, but you have to be gone before sun up – farmer grabs his tools from here at the start of every morning… MORGAN Please don’t go… it’s been a long time since I’ve had the company of someone as charming as yourself… stay and talk with me? ANNE Well… alright… for a little while… ANNE takes a seat next to MORGAN on a wooden work bench. Their hands briefly touch. They looked at each other again coyly, then MORGAN moves in for a kiss. FADE OUT 35. Int. Printing Shed HOWE

Evening 3

HOWE is working by candlelight, madly arranging letters together on a printing press. COMMERCIAL BREAK

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THE STRANGERS  Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

  36. Ext. Main Street – Street Post HOWE, STREET EXTRAS

Morning 4

It’s early morning, the main street of town is just starting to come alive with people and traffic. HOWE walks from his Printing Shed to the nearby street post and nails his latest edition of the newspaper to it. TOWNSFOLK begin to mill around. HOWE continues on to other locations, to drop off other prints to local merchants, etc. CU main headline – PALMER WRONGLY ACCUSED OF MURDER, SENTENCED TO HANG The crowd begin to talk busily amongst themselves. 37. Ext. Saloon HOWE, BRONSON, STREET EXTRAS

Morning 4

HOWE walks up briskly to the doorway of the Saloon. BRONSON steps out at the same time. BRONSON Morning George, beautiful morning. HOWE That it is, sire… your paper… HOWE hands him his edition of the newspaper, and walks off. BRONSON begins to read. Cut to: 38. Int. Salooon BRONSON, BAR TENDER

Morning 4

BRONSON reading paper aloud – BRONSON …many would argue that freedom is a God given right, afforded to us from the moment of our birth. But looking around me today, in the colony, I would question if we have that right… oh dear… 39. Ext. Chapel HOWE, ALTAR BOY, CONGREGATION EXTRAS

Morning 4

A few CONGREGATION are milling around outside waiting for mass to begin. HOWE approaches an ALTAR BOY waiting on the steps outside, hands him the paper and he runs inside with it. HOWE slinks off.

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Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

40. Ext. Main Street – Street Post LT JENNINGS, TOWNIE, TOWNSFOLK EXTRAS

Morning 4

LT JENNINGS is reading the paper, as TOWNSFOLK fight over the remaining pages of the newspaper. LT JENNINGS J. Palmer was convicted of murdering Lt Bell, after the realisation that the onset of natives attacking his farm and killing his son, was brought on in retaliation to actions directly attributed to Lt Bell. Is it fair, that a man who is defending his honour and the lives of his wife and late son, should pay the ultimate price of death, to restore the balance of justice? Does he not have the right to live freely, on his own property without harm to others – and expect the same in return? The TOWNSFOLK, in chorus vocalise their dissatisfaction – No! 41. Ext. Corner Store HOWE, STORE OWNER, STREET EXTRAS

Morning 4

An old blind man sits on the porch of the corner store whilst the STORE OWNER stands in the doorway. HOWE hands him the edition of the local paper. CUT TO: STORE OWNER sitting beside old blind man, reading the news – STORE OWNER …a convict, already dutifully paying the price for previous digressions, escapes the clutches of an unruly and unpredictably brutal guard, who wantonly wields punishment like he breathes air. Imagine, if you will, a world where one is guaranteed a certain level of freedom, but is unable to relish what little of it he has, when the unpredictability of a solid lashing, or public humiliation could be just around any corner… The old man shakes his head is disappointment. Cut To: 42. Int. Chapel FATHER IGNATIUS, CONGREGATION EXTRAS

Morning 4

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THE STRANGERS  Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

  FATHER IGNATIUS is holding a sermon. He has the newspaper in hand and reads a passage out loud – FATHER IGNATIUS …There are limits to freedom, imposed by Governor and the laws of God. I don’t dispute that there must be a level of control and justice in any society, particularly that of a new colony. But where are our political freedoms – the right to speak freely, to associate with whomever we choose, the right to own and cultivate our own property without fear, to come and go as we please in a community brought together by caring and commitment and not from a dread of being murdered and mutilated; to be tried by a jury of your peers, and to vote to elect an authority that can be held accountable to their heinous acts of violence and corruption… The CONGREGATION are nodding in agreement. 43. Ext. Main Street – Street Post LT JENNINGS, ANNE, TOWNSFOLK EXTRAS

Morning 4

Behind LT JENNINGS is ANNE, reading another page, with TOWNSFOLK milling around him. ANNE The two men are scheduled to hang in the Town Square today as the clock strikes 12. TOWNSFOLK gasp in unison. LT JENNINGS looks concerned. 44. Ext. Dirt Road MORGAN

Morning 4

MORGAN is riding his horse on the outskirts of town and comes across a water trough for horses. He stops to give his horse some water, when he notices a paper nailed to a post with a sketch of a man’s face looking remarkably similar to him WANTED JACK MORGAN ESCAPED CONVICT REWARD 10 GALLONS OF RUM

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THE STRANGERS  Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

 

DEAD OR ALIVE Authorised: SUB-LT WALSH MORGAN rips the paper off the post. 45. Int. Penal Colony – Prison Cell PALMER, ESCAPEE CONVICT, FATHER IGNATIUS (50 WD), LT JENNINGS, 2 x SOLDIERS (N/S)

Day 4

PALMER and ESCAPEE CONVICT are behind bars, sitting on a bed with FATHER IGNATIUS opposite them reading their last rights. FATHER IGNATIUS Through this holy unction and His own most tender mercy may the Lord pardon thee whatever sins or faults thou hast committed. FATHER IGNATIUS places ointment on PALMER’S eyes, ears, nostrils, lips and hands. FATHER IGNATIUS Through this holy unction may the Lord pardon thee whatever sins or faults thou hast committed… Interrupted LT JENNINGS It’s time father. FATHER IGNATIUS nods and two SOLDIERS walk into the cell, pick up both shackled prisoners and escort them out of the cell. 46. Ext. Town Centre Day 4 LARGE CROWD, PALMER, SOLDIER #1 (50 WD), 3 x SOLDIERS (N/S), SUB-LT WALSH, GEORGE HOWE, LT JENNINGS It’s an overcast day and a large crowd is beginning to form around a large oak tree in the Town Centre. PALMER & ESCAPEE CONVICT are being escorted to the tree, away from vengeful townsfolk, who to the SOLDIER’S surprise are screaming obscenities and spitting at them, and not the accused, as they walk past. SOLDIER’S glance back at LT JENNINGS who is following them. Beneath the tree is a horse and cart, with SUB-LT WALSH (executioner) waiting for them. Both prisoners are placed on the cart, where two ropes are hanging from a tree branch above, and proceed to place the noose around PALMER’S and CONVICT’S necks. PALMER looks down over the crowd, made up of men, women and children. SUB-LT WALSH stands watch, waiting

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THE STRANGERS  Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

  for the bells of Town Hall to strike 12pm.

A hush comes over the crowd – worried faces of women turn their head, whilst eager faces of rough settlers look in anticipation. SUB-LT WALSH Do you have any last words, either of you? PALMER shakes his head, No. He casts an eye out over the crowd and spots HOWE, and gives him a pleading look. ESCAPEE CONVICT (in a panic) I didn’t do it! You must believe me! I’m not the EyeBall Killer… we found the body there, honest… it wasn’t m… The bell tolls, and SUB-LT WALSH gives the order for the horse and cart to move away. As the prisoners drop, the crowd gasp. After a few moments of bodies swinging, PALMER’S rope snaps and he falls to the floor. The crowd gasp louder in shock. The SOLDIERS look at each other and at LT JENNINGS and SUB-LT WALSH, not sure what to do. LT JENNINGS goes to make a move, but SUB-LT WALSH steps in front and angrily nods direction to SOLDIER #1 to pick up PALMER. He sees PALMER coming back to consciousness and coughing. SOLDIER #1 He’s alive… SUB-LT WALSH nods to the other soldiers to take down ESCAPEE CONVICT. SUB-LT WALSH (to SOLDIER #1) Test the rope and string him up again. The crowd are shocked at the unsettling nature of these events. The horse and cart are moved back into place, SOLDIER #1 climbs up and pulls on the rope to test its strength. It appears fine. PALMER is lifted back up on the cart, where the same rope is re-swung over the branch, and the noose placed around his neck again. Everything now in place for re-hanging, PALMER scans the crowd again, and sees a little girl – he smiles lucidly at her. SUB-LT WALSH calls for the horse and cart to be removed, and again PALMER drops and swings in the hangman’s noose. The crowd wait I silence to see if this time it will work. After a few more moments, the rope again snaps

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THE STRANGERS  Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

  and PALMER falls unconscious to the ground. The crowd gasp more audibly and are in a state of shock – this in unheard of. SUB-LT WALSH is clearly annoyed and orders his men to check PALMER. He is still alive but unconscious. LT JENNINGS assessing the crowd’s reaction steps in, and approaches SUB-LT WALSH. LT JENNINGS You must put an end to this. The man has had enough. He can hang another day… SUB-LT WALSH regards him coldly. SUB-LT WALSH The day I take orders from you is the day I hang from this tree… SUB-LT WALSH roughly pushes LT JENNINGS out of the way. In anger and frustration, LT JENNINGS storms off. SUB-LT WALSH (to SOLDIER #1) Pick him up and put him on the cart. (to two other soldiers) You two, get a new rope and restring it to the tree. On seeing PALMER is to be hung again, the crowd become a bit unstable. HOWE becomes vocal. HOWE This is an outrage! Let this innocent man free! This is cruel and unusual punishment! The cries of the crowd escalate. SUB-LT WALSH ignores their pleas. The two SOLDIERS return with a new rope, re-tie it to the tree branch and test it’s strength. SOLDIER #1 with the aid of the other two SOLDIERS assist in getting an unconscious PALMER back on the cart, and place the noose around his neck again. SOLDIER #1 stays on cart to hold PALMER upright. SUB-LT WALSH angrily calls for the horse and cart to move, SOLDIER #1 lets go of PALMER and lets his body violently swing. Several anxious moments pass, the crowd wait in impenetrable silence. SUB-LT WALSH’S anger begins to subside into satisfaction and as he turns to leave… the rope snaps and PALMER falls to the floor again. The crowd are now up in arms, with everyone present now calling for a

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THE STRANGERS  Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

  reprieve - HOWE leading the protest. SOLDIER #1 goes to PALMER and acknowledges he is still alive. SUB-LT WALSH and SOLDIERS don’t know what to do – they have lost control of the situation and the crowd are revolting. SUB-LT WALSH orders the men to place him on the cart, and they ride off rapidly back to prison, cutting through the crowds at break-neck speed. 47. Ext. Bush Land PEMULWUY, ABORIGINE #1, ABORIGINE #2

Evening 4

PEMULWUY and ABORIGINES are following tracks in the bush floor, tracking disturbances in leaves and sticks, and comes across a pool of fresh blood on the ground – but no body. PEMULWUY He has been here… ABORIGINE #1 How can you be sure… many white man hunt these parts… PEMULWUY walks over to a nearby tree. PEMULWUY He is a kindred spirit, a warrior hunter like myself but he is becoming reckless… he wants to be caught… PEMULWUY pulls off a small piece of red cloth from the nearby tree trunk. 48. Int. Governor’s House GOV. PHILLIP, OFFICER, LT JENNINGS, EXTRAS

Evening 4

CU front page newspaper headline landing on PHILLIPS desk – MAN WHO COULD NOT BE HUNG. PHILLIP What is this? PHILLIP is busy tying a not in his neck tie, and donning his official Gov. jacket. He is looking very regal, dressed in his official military outfit. Outside Gov.’s office, people are frantically pacing back and forth organising the ball for tonight. OFFICER Latest news from the Gazette sire. It was left on the door of the house sire. PHILLIP angrily looks over it.

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THE STRANGERS  Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

 

PHILLIP Dismissed… officer… As OFFICER leaves, LT JENNINGS bursts in the door. OFFICER tries to stop him from entering, but PHILLIP sees him and motions LT JENNINGS to come in. LT JENNINGS looks flustered. LT JENNINGS He is out of control Gov. Something must be done! LT JENNINGS looks confused, but continues – PHILLIP Who? LT JENNINGS Sub-Lt Walsh! He has lost all control over the situation, and disobeyed my direct orders. PHILLIP, still dressing himself, stops and turns to JENNINGS. PHILLIP What happened… exactly? LT JENNINGS I have come from the hangings… He has caused a near riot in the settlement, which threatens to explode at any minute if something is not done immediately! PHILLIP ponders JENNINGS words. LT JENNINGS I tried to diffuse the situation, but he ignored my order. I am his superior, something must be done. Calmly, PHILLIP responds – PHILLIP And this (points to newspaper) isn’t helping the situation… what would you have me do Lt? Courtmarshal Sub-Lt Walsh? Lock him away… ney, shoot him! So you don’t have to deal with him anymore? LT JENNINGS looks a little surprised the tables have turned on him.

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THE STRANGERS   

Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom  PHILLIP I am aware of the situation between you and Sub-Lt Walsh… and whilst disobeying an order is a courtmarshalling offence, this will not address the problem you have with him… indeed, removing him, would only bring another into his place who would have the same regard for you as he does… No… no, this is a matter of respect that you need to address within your command. If you want to be a true leader… you need to sort this out yourself! LT JENNINGS But sir… the people are on the brink of civil unrest! Something must be done about this and soon, otherwise YOU will have lost all control of the situation!

PHILLIP, still dressing, walks over by the window and looks out over his colony. Beside the window is a chain, which he pulls and causes a bell to ring. In steps OFFICER. PHILLIP Spread the word throughout the colony that I, Governor Phillip, hereby grant Stephen Palmer a full reprieve on the conviction of murder. He is a free man. LT JENNINGS appears relieved. PHILLIP Make sure Palmer is fully attended to by a physician, and escorted back to his residence, when the doctor deems him fit to return home. That is all. OFFICER excuses himself and exits the room. PHILLIP to LT JENNINGS – PHILLIP I believe that is all… now if you may recall, we have a ball to attend tonight, and you still need to get prepared. 49. Ext. Brothel – Alleyway LT JENNINGS, BENITA, MARLENA

Night 4

LT JENNINGS creeps into the alleyway to the discreet entrance to BENITA’S brothel. He knocks, and BENITA opens the door, expecting him.

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Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom  BENITA You do realize we have a front door you know?

LT JENNINGS flushes. BENITA I’m just kidding with ya darl… I’ve saved the cream of the crop for you tonight. Our classiest call girl – Marlena. MARLENA – a beautiful call girl, dressed impeccably in a refined outfit, steps out into the alleyway. LT JENNINGS is taken by her beauty, but is very nervous. BENITA Relax and have a good time. Marlena is the best we got – you’re in good hands. 50. Ext. Gala Hall (Gov. House) ATTENDANTS (N/S), GALA GUESTS (N/S)

Night 4

Horses with carriages are pulling up outside the Gov. House as GALA GUESTS are being ushered in by attendants. 51. Int. Gala Hall / Gov. House - Foyer PHILLIP, OFFICER, GALA GUESTS (N/S)

Night 4

PHILLIP is in the foyer, greeting guests as they arrive. In steps LT JENNINGS with his beautiful escort MARLENA. PHILLIP Lt Jennings! Who is this vision you’ve brought before me? MARLENA blushes, and LT JENNINGS awkwardly tries to respond, but has forgotten her name – LT JENNINGS This… is… ah… M…M.. MARLENA steps in to recover, holds out her hand – MARLENA My name is Marlena. Pleased to meet you Gov. Phillip. PHILLIP Oh no, the pleasure is all mine, I assure you.

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Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

PHILLIP gives LT JENNINGS a quizzical look. LT JENNINGS just looks embarrassed. An OFFICER approaches PHILLIP. OFFICER Sir, the Gamekeeper wishes to have a quick word with you in the kitchen. PHILLIP (to all present) Ah splendid! No doubt he wishes to present his catch for the main feast! Please excuse me. LT JENNINGS looks relieved as PHILLIP escorts them both into the main Hall. 52. Int. Gala Hall (Gov. House) LT JENNINGS, MARLENA, PHILLIP, SUB-LT WALSH, GALA GUESTS (N/S)

Night 4

GALA GUESTS are seen mingling and dancing, enjoying the musical atmosphere of the ball, whilst PHILLIP cuts his way through to the kitchen. 53. Int. Gov. House – kitchen PHILLIP, McINTYRE, GENERAL KITCHEN HAND EXTRAS

Night 4

PHILLIP enters the kitchen to see a giant hog being prepared by chefs on a bench, McINTYRE admiring his catch. PHILLIP Ah, McIntyre, I see you’ve outdone yourself! Marvelous catch! McINTYRE is grinning from ear to ear. PHILLIP …but I see the beast got the better of you! PHILLIP points out McINTYRE’S torn jacket. PHILLIP Not to worry. See my assistant, he will make sure it will be replaced post haste. I wish to have you by my side as this delicacy is presented. I’ll see to it you shall get the credit you deserve.

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Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

McINTYRE smiles awkwardly. 54. Int. Gala Hall (Gov. House) LT JENNINGS, MARLENA, SUB-LT WALSH, DRUNK SOLDIER #1, DRUNK SOLDIER #2

Night 4

The Ballroom is filled with guests dancing to a waltz, being played by an orchestra in a corner of the room. LT JENNINGS is standing at the side of the room with MARLENA, at an awkward distance way, but still seemingly “together”. MARLENA I don’t like to break tradition, but it is customary for the gentleman to ask his girl if she’d like to dance. LT JENNINGS Oh yes… well, you see, I’m not one for dancing I’m afraid. MARLENA tries to lighten the mood and insists – MARLENA Oh come on, it will be fun! She grabs his arm and tries to pull him onto the floor, but JENNINGS stands steadfast to the spot. Keen not to make the scene awkward, MARLENA stops. SUB-LT WALSH is on the other side of the room drinking and watching LT JENNINGS and MARLENA, who is aware of this and contributes to his awkwardness. DRUNK SOLDIERS #1 & #2 squeeze past, with drinks in their hands. SOLDIER #1 accidentally spills some on MARLENA. DRUNK SOLDIER #1 Oh pardon me ma’am… well hello m’lady, aren’t you a sight for very sore eyes… DRUNK SOLDIER #1 doesn’t realize who he is talking to, and hasn’t yet paid any attention to LT JENNINGS. SOLDIER #2 has and tries to steer his mate away from danger. DRUNK SOLDIER #2 Come on mate, this is not the time or place… DRUNK SOLDIER #1

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THE STRANGERS   

Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom  Maybe not, but all she needs to do is name the time and place, and I’ll be right there!

MARLENA smiles coyly, MARLENA (whispers to DRUNK SOLDIER #1) You couldn’t afford me… LT JENNINGS is furious and grabs DRUNK SOLDIER #1 by the scruff, and shakes him about. LT JENNINGS How dare you young man! Do you have any idea… DRUNK SOLDIER #2 tries to intercede. DRUNK SOLDIER #2 My apologies sir, he knows not what he is doing, he is inebriated. There is a minor reaction in the crowd, to the scuffle. SUB-LT WALSH steps in. SUB-LT WALSH Is there a problem here Jennings? LT JENNINGS is immediately embarrassed it has come to this. LT JENNINGS This does not concern you Walsh. SUB-LT WALSH Well I do believe it does, as you seem to be causing a scene in front of this charming crowd who are intent of having a good time. LT JENNINGS is furious. SUB-LT WALSH M’lady, charmed to make your acquaintance. Please forgive these young lads, they know not the limits of inebriation. They are still babes in the woods. SUB-LT WALSH kisses MARLENA’S hand. SUB-LT WALSH (stern) You two – come with me!

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Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

SUB-LT WALSH grabs the two DRUNK SOLDIERS by their shirts. SUB-LT WALSH Not even man enough to defend the honour of your guest… SUB-LT WALSH escorts the DRUNK SOLDIERS out of the room. Humiliated, LT JENNINGS pats himself down, straightening himself out, looks at MARLENA and storms into the hallway. 55. Int. Gala Hall - Hallway LT JENNINGS, MARLENA,

Night 4

LT JENNINGS storms out of the ballroom and into the hall, where MARLENA is chasing him and grabs his wrist from behind to stop him. LT JENNINGS I’m sorry Marlena… this was a mistake. I should take you home. MARLENA What? Why? The night is just getting started… LT JENNINGS I… look, can’t you see I was just using you? I hired you to make myself look more like a man in front of my peers, who have no respect for me. But instead these… bafoons!... make me out to look like a turd… worse than that, a turd who has been stepped on by SUB-LT WALSH! MARLENA steps closer to JENNINGS and softly touches his cheek. LT JENNINGS I’m pathetic. I can’t even handle two soldiers… SUBLT WALSH was right, I don’t deserve to be Lt… I’m too weak… MARLENA It is true… you are a gentler man, a kinder man… a more honest man… but you are more of a man than they are! Why would you want to be like them?

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THE STRANGERS   

Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom  LT JENNINGS That’s just it! I don’t want to be like them, I want to be accepted by them!

MARLENA takes a step back, and looks pensive. MARLENA Look – there is no point in wasting your hard earned money… and there is still time to salvage things yet!... LT JENNINGS looks intrigued. MARLENA Besides… the Maison would kill me if I left a customer unsatisfied! With a cheeky grin, MARLENA quickly looks around her to see the coast is clear, grabs LT JENNINGS and kisses him hard. She drags him into the next room, the Dining Room, and closes the doors behind them. Cut to: 56. Int. Gala Hall (Gov. House) SUB-LT WALSH, PHILLIP, OFFICER, McINTYRE, GENERAL SOLDIERS, GALA GUESTS and WAITER EXTRAS

Night 4

PHILLIP enters Ballroom followed by his assistant OFFICER. They approach the band. McINTYRE is also in tow, however he hangs by the door. SUB-LT WALSH is standing by the back wall, also looking on. PHILLIP Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please! The music dies down, as the guests stop dancing and face toward the orchestral stage. PHILLIP A moment of your time if I may. In a moment, we will make our way to the dining room, for the grand feast, but before we do, I wanted to make a little speech if I may. PHILLIP motions to the various waiters to start handing out champagne.

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THE STRANGERS   

Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom  PHILLIP It has been a trying few years in the colony and we’ve all worked hard to get where we are today! Nobody would have believed it was possible, yet here we stand on the cusp of a new nation, forged by the hard work of the men of the commonwealth. For that I salute you.

The crowd raise glasses and in unison say – Salute! PHILLIP And despite the recent difficulties with the natives and some convicts attempting escape, there is some good news out of the colonies of the top rate work of our men in keeping the peace. I was advised only a few days ago, that our very own LT JENNINGS had captured the so-called Eye-Ball Killer who had been terrorizing our peaceful neighbourhoods and causing relation problems between the us and the natives…. McINTYRE suddenly looks nervous. PHILLIP So I’d like to raise a glass to Jennings for his top rate job! Where is Jennings?... Everyone looks around for LT JENNINGS but cannot find him. PHILLIP …oh well, not to worry. I’m sure he’ll get the message. He’s done a top rate job, and our men could learn a thing or to from him. PHILLIP looks directly at SUB-LT WALSH, who seems particularly annoyed. PHILLIP And with the Eye-Ball Killer’s hanging this morning, our streets are safe to wander once again! – McINTYRE! McINTYRE suddenly looks extremely nervous, as the focus is suddenly placed on him. PHILLIP McINTYRE, come up here! Ladies and Gentlemen, for those who have not yet been introduced, John

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THE STRANGERS   

Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom  McIntyre is my gamekeeper, and he has caught us a rather delightful beast for our dining pleasure tonight!

WAITERS wheel out a trolley with the hog roasted and presented on a platter, out to the stage for all to see. The crowd cheer in delight. PHILLIP McINTYRE is a masterful hunter, an honourable man, and I trust him with my life. PHILLIP puts his arm around McINTYRE in friendship. McINTYRE is feeling extremely awkward. PHILLIP Now! Without further ado, if you’ll care to join me in the dining room, we can dine on this sumptuous feast! PHILLIP and McINTYRE share a smile, as they walk towards the hall with the remaining guests. Cut to: 57. Int. Gala Hall – Dining Room LT JENNINGS, MARLENA, SUB-LT WALSH, PHILLIP, OFFICER, GENERAL SOLDIERS, GALA GUESTS EXTRAS

Night 4

The doors of the Dining Room explode open and guests begin to enter. LT JENNINGS and MARLENA are suddenly caught off guard in mid-sex act, and hurriedly put their clothes back in order. LT JENNINGS has been busted by peers (SUB-LT WALSH, GENERAL SOLDIERS, GALA GUESTS, PHILLIP’S OFFICER – but not PHILLIP). After LT JENNINGS and MARLENA’S clothes are in order, PHILLIP arrives onto the scene, unaware of the situation. PHILLIP Oh there you are Jennings! You missed my rousing speech! COMMERCIAL BREAK

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THE STRANGERS  Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

  58. Ext. Anne’s Farmer’s house JACK MORGAN, ANNE

Late Afternoon 5

New day – MORGAN sneaks up to ANNE at her employer’s farm, as she is hanging up clothes on the clothesline. He is hiding behind a tree. MORGAN Pssst… hey beautiful. ANNE turns in surprise and finds MORGAN. ANNE Jack! You can’t be here! If the master finds you here, he will shoot you! MORGAN I would face an army of men just to see your lovely face… besides, I needed to see you. ANNE smiles but looks around nervously. ANNE Well you better make it quick, because he’ll be out here any minute. MORGAN I found this nailed to a tree. He hands over the Bounty to ANNE. ANNE Oh dear… well you should have come to expect this really. I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner! MORGAN What am I going to do? I’m a wanted man, and Walsh is only interested in having my head on a stick! ANNE Just keep your head down and you’ll be fine… MORGAN What – for the rest of my natural life! What kind of a life is that Anne! Better I end it now, for the sake of everyone involved. ANNE

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THE STRANGERS   

Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom  How can you say such things! I for one would not be better.

She looks around to see the coast is clear. She pulls him closer behind a bed sheet flapping in the wind, obscuring the view to the hut. ANNE Come here… They kiss passionately. ANNE Meet me down by the bay as the clock strikes 6. I’ll show you a better way. MORGAN kisses ANNE again, then runs off. 59.

Ext. Bushland

Sunset 5

The sun is setting over the bush land, to the squawks of the Parakeets. 60. Ext. Bushland McINTYRE, ABORIGINE (50 WD)

Evening 5

McINTYRE is out hunting for game when he notices a lone ABORIGINE also hunting nearby. He has detached from his group, yelling and waving back at them as if to say, ‘I’m just going to the toilet’. McINTYRE quietly follows the ABORIGINE as he finds a place nestled between some big rock boulders for privacy. McINTYRE out flanks him, and corners him at the rock boulders. Before ABORIGINE gets a chance to see him, McINTYRE jumps him, grabs his mouth and slits his throat. He lays him down and watches the blood spill from his neck. 61. Ext. Bushland Evening 5 DRUNK SOLDIER #1, DRUNK SOLDIER #2, McINTYRE, ABORIGINE (N/S) Two young DRUNK SOLDIER (early 20’s) are tripping all over themselves along a dirt road, near the bush land. They are laughing, very amiable and affectionate for drunken men. SOLDIER #2 has his arm around SOLDIER #1 to support him up. DRUNK SOLDIER #1 …I mean… how was I supposed to know she was the Lieutenant’s escort? The way they sat, you could have put a house between them!

52


THE STRANGERS    They laugh.

Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

DRUNK SOLDIER #1 Besides – the poorly young lass looked like she could use a jolly good… pick me up, if you know what I mean! And if the Lieutenant isn’t man enough to give it to her, you could bet your ass I am… They laugh some more. DRUNK SOLDIER #2 Some man… you’re gonna get yourself killed one of these days… DRUNK SOLDIER #1 What… little ol’ drunken me? I’m harmless… I’m a harmless Casanova… DRUNK SOLDIER #2 Yes, but one of these days, you’re gonna pick up a skanky ol’ wench who’s keeper isn’t as spineless as Lieutenant Jennings… look at ya, that gash on your forehead… DRUNK SOLDIER #2 moves in closer, clasping DRUNK SOLDIER #1’s face in both hands, and touches his wound softly. DRUNK SOLDIER #2 He slogged you good for a piss weak officer… They look at each other, charged with drunken physical emotion. DRUNK SOLDIER #1 laughing it off – DRUNK SOLDIER #1 Ay, ‘tis a scratch, ‘tis a scratch… I’ll make worms meat of him yet! They both laugh nervously. DRUNK SOLDIER #2 You gotta be more careful Jim. You can’t keep putting this (grabs DRUNK SOLDIER #1’s crotch) into any ol’ hole, or you’re bound to get into a scrape you won’t soon find your way out of. DRUNK SOLDIER #1 Wha… what are you doing? Not here!

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THE STRANGERS  Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

  DRUNK SOLDIER #1 looks around nervously, to see if anyone is about, and cautiously backs away. DRUNK SOLDIER #1 Who are you to tell me who I can fuck? I’m a lone ranger – free to take it when I want it, wherever I want it and with whoever… I want it with… DRUNK SOLDIER #2 Ha! You and I both know the laws of god and man prevent it. On those long lonely nights at sea, are we free to take solace with the company of animals? DRUNK SOLDIER #1 & #2 laugh… DRUNK SOLDIER #2 Well you laugh, for the law of man will have you hang for it. But tell me this – are you free to lay with a fellow man? The law of God forbids it – hell we’re not even supposed to bed a woman unless we’re betrothed… and you dare say we’re free men?? They have us by the balls! They look at each other seriously. DRUNK SOLDIER #1 walks closer to DRUNK SOLDIER #2 and holds him. DRUNK SOLDIER #2 Don’t… we’ll get a lynching if anyone sees us… DRUNK SOLDIER #1 I care not for mob justice… (he kisses DRUNK SOLDIER #2) … besides, they’ll have to catch me first! DRUNK SOLDIER #1 runs into the bush laughing like a kid. DRUNK SOLDIER #2 chases him and captures him, pinning him up against a tree, where they gather their breath, laughing. They kiss again. DRUNK SOLDIER #2 No-one is to know of this… There is more kissing, and DRUNK SOLDIER #2 moves down on DRUNK SOLDIER #1. A noise is heard – a cracking of a tree branch. DRUNK SOLDIER #1

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THE STRANGERS   

Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom  Ssssh, stop, did you hear that?

DRUNK SOLDIER #2 gets up and continues kissing DRUNK SOLDIER #1 on the neck. Another noise is heard, a rock is heard crashing nearby. DRUNK SOLDIER #1 Wait… I don’t think we’re alone. Both men begin to look around them, straining to see in the dark. They walk a little in search of something, when they come across the mutilated ABORIGINE by the rock boulders. DRUNK SOLDIER #2 Oh my god it’s the Eye-Ball Kill… At that moment, McINTYRE quietly and methodically sneaks up behind DRUNK SOLDIER #1 and slices his throat from ear to ear. His body drops to the ground. DRUNK SOLDIER #2, behind a tree, looks deep into the demonic eyes of McINTYRE, and realizes the identity of the Eye-Ball Killer, fleeing the scene. McINTYRE does not see him. 62. Int. Phillip’s Office PHILLIP, HOWE, OFFICER (N/S)

Evening 5

HOWE is ushered into PHILLIP’S office by an OFFICER. HOWE walks in awkwardly. PHILLIP Take a seat… HOWE walks in awkwardly and takes a seat in front of PHILLIP who is sitting behind a big wooden desk. PHILLIP Do you know how I came to be the Gov. of this place? HOWE stares back at PHILLIP. PHILLIP Because I am a good judge of character. I know how people think, I know how they will react before even they themselves know what they’re going to do. I see events and read into their future and can see how they will unfold, before it has even happened. And in the unlikely events that something should happen which I did not foresee, I am always prepared to deal with the

55


THE STRANGERS   

Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom  situation in the harshest of possible ways, as to prevent the mere thought of it even occurring again.

HOWE shrugs his shoulders. HOWE I don’t understand… what does this have to do with me? PHILLIP drops a copy of the latest paper on the table in front of HOWE. PHILLIP Care to explain this? HOWE scans the paper and reads the headline “The Man Who Could Not Be Hung”. HOWE What’s to explain? I was in town, and saw what was happening, and so I reported it… PHILLIP But it is not your DUTY to report it! HOWE I was under the impression that I was the local copywriter in this place, and that I am the only person in the colony who has the skills to print these papers as per your request. PHILLIP Yes, and I gave you this opportunity, as a means to assist all colonists - soldiers, convicts and settlers alike, with important shipping news, auction results and agricultural notices as they become relevant. And NOT to spew forth a litany of this sensationalist rubbish! HOWE But sir… your news is tepid and erroneous at best. The shipping news alone is already 14 weeks out of date by the time it is printed! It’s of no use to anyone! And what’s more, it’s moral to the point of

priggishness… patriotic to the point of servility… and pompous in a stiff, eighteenth century fashion. No-one in the colony wants to read it… my paper –

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THE STRANGERS  Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

 

PHILLIP Your paper? Do not forget that you are still a convict young man. I was gracious enough to pull you out of the slum, but do not misunderstand me – I will send you right back without notice, if you so much as print another word of this rubbish again. There is silence between them. HOWE You said it was duty to know your people. But you do not. These people aren’t interested in your rules, or your business notices. These people have a right to know what’s happening around them… to be alerted to the dangers they live in… right now there is talk of a serial killer on the loose, who cuts out the eyes of… PHILLIP More sensationalist rubbish! He was hanged yesterday. HOWE The killer is still out there! PHILLIP That is simply not true! You saw it yourself – he was hanged alongside Palmer… It is my duty to keep the peace here. And your paper has done nothing but create panic amongst the colony. I will not have you undermine me. I’ll sooner send you to the docks! Do I make myself clear? HOWE becomes silent. PHILLIP Do I make myself clear? HOWE Yes sir… PHILLIPS motions for HOWE to leave the office. 63. Int. Howe’s Printing Shed HOWE, ANNE,

Evening 5

HOWE is throwing things around his printing shed in anger. He grabs some old newspaper prints, looks at them, then tears them in disgust. He is also drinking from a small non-descript bottle.

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THE STRANGERS   

Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

ANNE quietly approaches the door and knocks softly. HOWE turns around in surprise. ANNE George?... is it a bad time? HOWE Oh Anne, I’m sorry you had to see this… please, come in. Everything is fine. Come in. HOWE takes a seat at his desk, whilst ANNE stands quietly nearby. ANNE Is there anything I can help you with? HOWE No my love, not unless you have the power to rule this colony… ANNE looks confused. HOWE Our fierce and valiant Governor has seen fit to warn me off reporting the fearful news of the land… ANNE But the paper… you… who will… HOWE No, the paper is fine… I am to restrict it’s content to the exhilarating news of shipping business and auction results…. ANNE still looks confused, but she can read well enough the serious conflict in his face, and places a hand on his shoulder. HOWE The people need to know what’s happening around them… I have the means right here, but am powerless to use it… HOWE takes another swig of his beverage as ANNE tries to calm him down. HOWE

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THE STRANGERS   

Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom  If I print it, I’ll lose my job and go back to the barracks. But if I don’t, everyone in the colony is in danger! What will happen to kind people like you? And the reading group? I can’t let them down… but what can I do? ANNE Well for starters, you’re not helping anyone if you continue to do this…

She takes the drink off HOWE. ANNE Secondly… don’t you see? You already have the power! Now HOWE looks confused. HOWE But… what? ANNE You don’t need a paper to let everyone know what’s happening in the colony. You yourself know half the people here can’t read or write, so what’s the use in printing it anyway?? HOWE I still don’t understand… ANNE Let the Governor have his stupid newspaper. Print out exactly what he wants, week in week out. You’ll get to stay in this job, which pays reasonably well, and keeps you away from trouble… HOWE But what about real news? How will I let people know? ANNE The same way you’ve always spread it… through word. The Governor has no jurisdiction over your mouth – tell the real news to the reading group. They’re all a bunch of gossips anyhow, and see how quickly your news then spreads! HOWE Why… of course! That’s a brilliant idea! I could kiss you!

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THE STRANGERS   

Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

HOWE kisses ANNE several times on each cheek, in a friendly manner. HOWE How can I ever repay you! ANNE Well, there is one thing… 64. Ext. Bay – secret hideout MORGAN, ANNE, BRONSON, BILL, BENITA, DRUNK SOLDIER #2, LOCALS EXTRAS

Evening 5

MORGAN arrives at the Bay, seeing lights and hearing laughter through the trees, up ahead. He approaches cautiously, until he recognizes ANNE as one of the attendants. He makes eye contact with ANNE, as she’s talking to SALOON OWNER and they approach each other. They kiss. MORGAN What’s all this? ANNE A better way… out of your little problem… MORGAN sneezes into his hands, and frantically looks for his handkerchief, but cannot find it. ANNE looks at him and offers him hers, then drags him over to the BRONSON. ANNE Jack, this is Bronson – he runs the local Saloon down by the harbour. He’s been having a little trouble with the establishment… BRONSON I’m an honest businessman trying to make an honest living. I got a family to provide for, mouths to feed. But each week, the local constabulary forces me to pay a stipend to keep the Saloon in business… That man is Sub-Lt Walsh. Anne here, told me about your troubles, and thought maybe we could help each other out… with mutual benefit… They smile at each other knowingly and shake hands. ANNE

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THE STRANGERS   

Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom  And this is Benita. She’s the Maison of Chateau Belize… I’m sure you’ve become acquainted with it at least on one occasion?

ANNE smiles wickedly at MORGAN, as does BENITA. BENITA I run the local whorehouse. Discretion and first class satisfaction are our highest priorities. ANNE Last week, Sub-Lt Walsh threatened to kill one of her girls in a drunken rage. He pushed her to the ground and stood on her neck. He forced her to do unspeakable things… BENITA We cater for all walks of life, but there are limits... They shake hands also as FARMER interrupts. BILL (FARMER) Pardon my rudeness, Anne? Where do you want me to dump the stuff? ANNE Jack, this is Bill. He runs the farm over by Black Hill. He’s also had problems with Sub-Lt Walsh, who keeps promising protection from the natives, but never delivers… Just put it by that big tree over there. ANNE points to a big tree a short distance away. ANNE All these people here have been affected by Sub-Lt Walsh or the establishment in one way or another. They’re men and women like you and me, former convicts, disenfranchised settlers, colonists who’ve arrived at the rough end of Justice… and they’ve all had enough. MORGAN How did you find all these people? ANNE Being the housemaid of a wealthy merchant has it perks… they’ve seen the injustice you’ve endured and want to help a fellow man in need.

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THE STRANGERS  Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

 

MORGAN But how? ANNE points towards BILL who is unloading a cart filled with barrels of Rum. MORGAN I… I can’t accept this… I don’t have anything to offer anyone in return… I can’t be indebted to anyone… ANNE You don’t owe them anything. They just want to see the balance of justice restored. MORGAN But I fear at what cost… ANNE All will be fine Jack. I promise. You’re amongst friends here… and I have one more surprise for you. MORGAN looks at ANNE quizzically. ANNE Early tomorrow morn, before the sun rises and begins a new day, sneak into town and knock on the News Printer’s door. He has something for you. They hug as commotion builds amongst the crowd. There is a bloodied man, screaming for help – DRUNK SOLDIER #2. DRUNK SOLDIER #2 I saw him… I saw him!!... he has killed again… MORGAN Hey, hey… calm down… what’s happened? What did you see? MORGAN notices the blood on DRUNK SOLDIER’S hands and clothes. DRUNK SOLDIER #2 The demon of the woods… the Governor’s Gameskeeper… McIntyre!! He and the EYE-BALL KILLER are one and the same!!... and he’s killed again!! The crowd whisper the name in disgust – ‘McIntyre?’

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THE STRANGERS   

Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom  ANNE An innocent man was hanged yesterday for these murders… MORGAN Who? Who did he kill? DRUNK SOLDIER #2 He got my comrade! He sliced him from ear to ear!!

CONVICT #2 falls to the floor in a bloody heap as the crowd gasp. BENITA Dear lord, he’s killing the whites now – nobody is safe! The crowd begin to panic. MORGAN Anne, I need you to look after this man. Bronson, Bill, Benita – you need to head back into town and spread the word, tell them to keep an eye out for McIntyre. I’ll track the woods and see if I can find anything. They all head off in separate directions. 65. Ext. Gov. House / Printer’s Shed BENITA, BILL, BRONSON, HOWE, TOWNSFOLK EXTRAS

Evening 5

A crowd is gathering outside Governor’s House in protest over the Eye-Ball Killers latest victim. HOWE, busy printing off the latest amended version of the week’s newsletter, sees the commotion from his Printer’s Shed (located beside the Gov. House), and makes his way into the crowd with newsletter in hand. HOWE What’s happened? 66. Int. Gov. House PHILLIP, OFFICER, HOWE, TOWNSFOLK EXTRAS

Evening 5

PHILLIP stands by his window looking down at the commotion outside. He spots HOWE. He pulls on a chain, which rings a bell. In steps an OFFICER. PHILLIP

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THE STRANGERS  Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

 

Bring him to me. 67. Ext. Bush land MORGAN, PEMULWUY, ABORIGINE

Evening 5

MORGAN rides his horse to the scene of the crime, where he finds a trail of blood that leads him into the bush. He comes across the body of DRUNK SOLDIER #1, and then a little further away, the mutilated body of ABORGINE. He looks around suspiciously, but cannot see any sign of the Eye-Ball Killer. However, unbeknownst to him, PEMULWUY is in the shadows watching him from a distance. He pulls out his spear and aims it at MORGAN. As he is about to throw, he halts. He notices MORGAN covering up the body of the dead ABORIGINE out of respect. He realises again this is not his man. 68. Ext. Gov. House OFFICER, HOWE, TOWNSFOLK EXTRAS

Evening 5

OFFICER grabs HOWE from out of the crowd and escorts him into the Gov. House. 69. Int. Gov. House PHILLIP, OFFICER, HOWE, TOWNSFOLK EXTRAS

Evening 5

HOWE is pushed into PHILLIP’S office roughly. PHILLIP What is the meaning of this? I thought we had an understanding. HOWE Yes sir, we do. This has nothing to do with me… look, I’ve just finished re-printing a new version of the paper, just how you specified… sir… PHILLIP glances over the page, and sees nothing untoward. PHILLIP Then preys tell, what is going on out there? HOWE There’s been another killing sir… an escaped victim claims it was… McIntyre sir… PHILLIP What?!? PHILLIP scrunches up the newspaper in his hand and slams his fist on the wooden table.

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THE STRANGERS   

Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

70. Ext. Bay ANNE, DRUNK SOLDIER #2, MORGAN, SOME EXTRAS (N/S)

Evening 5

MORGAN returns from his expedition to find ANNE sitting beside a past out DRUNK SOLDIER #2. She is running her fingers through his hair like a mother does a child. MORGAN sees this and watches before he approaches. ANNE is startled as he approaches. ANNE Oh you scared me… did you find anything? MORGAN shakes his head yes and no. He takes her hand and motions her to walk with him. MORGAN I saw the bodies… ANNE Bodies?? There was more than one? MORGAN Yes, there was a mutilated native nearby. I think the convicts might have unwittingly stumbled upon the murderer taking his latest victim, and found themselves caught in the spiders web. MORGAN looks up at the stars pensively. MORGAN What is this place? What kind of a world do we live in that harbours such monsters and rewards the callous? ANNE Every debt must be repayed… you will have your debt repayed soon enough my love. MORGAN But I fear there is more to be taken from me still… We can’t do this anymore Anne. I can’t risk losing you to them… I can’t risk getting hurt like that again… ANNE Sssshhh… They kiss and make love in the moonlight.

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THE STRANGERS   

Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

71. Ext. Bush land McINTYRE, PEMULWUY, ABORIGINE #2

Evening 5

McINTYRE has found a second victim who has wandered off from his tribe. He runs up behind ABORIGINE #2 and stabs him in the chest. ABORIGINE #2 lets out a light yelp, but loud enough to get PEMULWUY’S attention, who is tracking nearby, and begins running towards them. McINTYRE strings up ABORIGINE #2 to a tree, upside down, and begins gutting him. PEMULWUY arrives, looking down on McINTYRE from above, atop some large rock boulders. He sees what he is doing to one of his tribesmen, and in rage lets out a loud war cry. At the same time, he aims his death spear and throws it through the air with intense strength. It spears McINTYRE through his back, but penetrates through to his front side. 72. Ext. Bay MORGAN, ANNE

Evening 5

Lying post-coitally in each other’s arms, they hear the scream in the bush land nearby and are startled. 73. Ext. Bush Land McINTYRE, PEMULWUY, ABORIGINE #2

Evening 5

McINTYRE stumbles to the floor. He does not even see PEMULWUY towering above him, staring deathly at him. McINTYRE gasps for air, but still has some faculty about him, and tries to crawl back into town, stumbling as he goes – an enormous spear sticking out of his back. PEMULWUY watches in satisfaction, knowing he has finally caught the EYE-BALL KILLER. COMMERCIAL BREAK

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THE STRANGERS  Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

  74. Ext. News printing office MORGAN, HOWE, EXTRAS

Early Morning 6

The town is very quiet, business has not yet begun for the day. MORGAN rides up to the News printing office on a horse. He knocks on the door. HOWE opens the door, rubbing his eyes groggily. They exchange a knowing look. HOWE turns to get something then returns with a small stack of paper – we cannot see what’s on it. MORGAN smiles and nods at HOWE who responds by patting MORGAN’S shoulder. MORGAN turns and leaves, HOWE closes the door. 75. Ext. Edge of Town / Bush roadway McINTYRE, LOCAL FARMER (50 WD)

Early Morning 6

McINTYRE crawls along a dirt road with a large spear sticking out of his back. A local farmer on a horse and cart rides by and discovers him, jumps off horse and rushes to his aid. FARMER Dear Lord, what have they done to you… FARMER picks him up, places him on the back of his cart, and rides off quickly into town. 76. Int. Doctor’s House Early Morning 6 DOCTOR, McINTYRE, FARMER (50 WD), MARSHAL #1 (50 WD) There is a loud banging on the door. DOCTOR SAMUELS groggily awakes from his sleep, gets out of bed and opens the door. DOCTOR SAMUELS I’m coming, I’m coming… what is it? He opens the door to find FARMER holding McINTYRE over one shoulder with the spear still sticking out. DOCTOR SAMUELS Dear god, bring him in, bring him in… lay him on the bed… face down… DOCTOR SAMUELS assists FARMER with McINTYRE. DOCTOR SAMUELS What the hell happened? FARMER shrugs his shoulders.

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THE STRANGERS  Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

 

FARMER Will he be alright? DOCTOR SAMUELS I don’t know… go to the Marshal’s office and bring him here right away. FARMER is in shock and stares at McINTYRE. DOCTOR SAMUELS If he has any chance of survival, you must go now and leave me to attend to his injuries. GO! NOW! FARMER leaves in confusion. DOCTOR SAMUELS grabs some medical instruments and goes over to McINTYRE who is groaning in pain. DOCTOR SAMUELS You’re in bad shape son, but I’m going to do the best I can to get you back on your feet… (to himself) if it’s at all possible… DOCTOR SAMUELS injects McINTYRE with anesthetic and begins sawing at the spear. He rolls McINTYRE over, inspects the wound, his raspy breathing and disappearing lucidity. McINTYRE Kill me… DOCTOR SAMUELS is taken aback by the statement. At this moment, the door bursts open and enters MARSHAL and FARMER. DOCTOR SAMUELS intercepts them before they can reach McINTYRE. MARSHAL What’s happened here? DOCTOR SAMUELS This man is gravely ill and has little time… he has been impaled by a native’s death spear. MARSHAL gives him a look as if to say “and?” DOCTOR SAMUELS The death spear is a particularly cruel instrument of warfare of the natives… they only use it for severe cases of retribution… the arrow head is soaked in a

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THE STRANGERS   

Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom  poisonous resin which dislodges into the victims body as it passes through the flesh, causing a painful and slow death… despite the fact it has punctured his lung, there would be no saving him under any circumstances… this man will most certainly die… MARSHAL Who is he? Why have they done this to him? DOCTOR SAMUELS He appears to be delirious. He has not said much of any worth…

MARSHAL pushes past DOCTOR and approaches McINTYRE. MARSHAL gasps and turns to the DOCTOR. MARSHAL This man is John McIntyre! DOCTOR SAMUELS turns to MARSHAL and looks confused. MARSHAL He is the Governor’s Gamekeeper! MARSHAL turns to FARMER. MARSHAL What happened to this man? Who attacked him?? MARSHAL becomes physical with FARMER. FARMER I’m sorry sir, I don’t know anything about the incident… I but found him by the road… DOCTOR SAMUELS intervenes, separating the two. DOCTOR SAMUELS Marshal!! … (to Farmer) It’s ok… it’s best you go. I’m sure the Marshal is greatly indebted to your service today and will reward you for it… FARMER exits. MARSHAL walks over to McINTYRE who is deliriously babbling about murder, blood and retribution. MARSHAL

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THE STRANGERS   

Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom  Whoever did this is going to pay handsomely… an attack on the Governor’s official is an attack on the colony! DOCTOR SAMUELS Whoever did this may not even know the full implications of what they’ve done! MARSHAL I must go to the Governor and tell him of this at once.

MARSHAL leaves. DOCTOR SAMUELS goes over to McINTYRE who is coughing and spluttering blood. McINTYRE Kill me… KILL ME… DOCTOR SAMUELS I cannot. I took an oath to save lives, not take them. Besides, who am I to remove a man’s right to retribution… a man does not get speared like this without just cause… McINTYRE whimpers and writhes in pain. McINTYRE I need a priest… I can’t die… not like this… Knowing that McINTYRE is somewhat delirious and does not have much time left, SAMUELS makes a decision. DOCTOR SAMUELS … I am a priest… my son… McINTYRE I didn’t mean to do it… I fear the wrath of God… I feel it upon me – always… but I’m not a bad person… DOCTOR SAMUELS What is it you need to confess my son… god forgives those who repent… McINTYRE continues to writhe in pain and cough up blood. McINTYRE I did it… I killed those savages… DOCTOR SAMUELS gasps.

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THE STRANGERS  Ep 9 – The Price of Freedom 

 

McINTYRE I cut them open… I tortured them… I took their eyes and fed them to the animals… DOCTOR SAMUELS … but why?? McINTYRE breaks down sobbing and coughing. McINTYRE Why did he punish me so?... I’m not a bad person… why did he make it so hard… to live? McINTYRE sobs harder and coughs up more blood, in an uncontrollable fit. McINTYRE I am a coward who took lives because he could not face taking his own… Struggling for air he takes his last gasp in the arms of DOCTOR SAMUELS, who clearly in shock, can only stare down at McINTYRE. DOCTOR SAMUELS I absolve you my son… 77. Ext. Dirt road / Bush MORGAN

Early Morning 6

MORGAN arrives on horseback at a cross roads, and dismounts. He takes out a hammer and nails and a sheet of paper from a bundle in a side satchel. He proceeds to a nearby tree and nails the paper to it. CU on flyer – WANTED BOUNTY ON THE HEAD OF SUB-LT WALSH REWARD

20 Gallons of RUM END – FINAL COMMERCIAL BREAK

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TV Script - The Strangers - Episode 9