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ACT ONE FADE IN: EXT. COLORADO SPRINGS - DAY Mike and the children approach in the wagon, down the hill past the church meadow and along the creek that borders the town to the west. Matthew drives the team, with Mike at his side and Colleen and Brian, and his wolf pup in the rear.
+ANOTHER ANGLE/CLOSER Mike and the children are engaged in a word game. It's Colleen's turn... COLLEEN As mean as... (thinking) ...a snappin' turtle. MATTHEW As mean as a rattler in August. BRIAN As mean as Mr. Bray. Mike smiles, shakes her head. They all look to her for her entry. MIKE Let's see... as mean as a centipede with Sciatica. Mike's pleased with herself, but it doesn't quite register with the kids. COLLEEN (to Brian) Your turn to start. BRIAN As... slow... as molasses. They turn to Mike. MIKE As slow as... a snail on crutches. This time, the kids laugh. So does Mike.
EXT. ANOTHER ANGLE/THEIR POV - DAY Beyond the stream are the beginnings of a makeshift shanty town -- several tents, some log shacks and even a few weathered covered wagons. A ragged BUNCH OF PEOPLE inhabit the place, doing their best to carry on with life's basics, cooking over open fires, drawing water from the creek upstream, washing clothes in it further downstream.
EXT. THE WAGON - DAY Mike and the kids observe in silence as they pass, until Brian tugs at Mike's sleeve. BRIAN There's more of 'em. Mike nods, accepting. He watches them a moment, then... BRIAN (continuing) I heard Mr. Bray call 'em "immigrants." ...as if it's a dirty word. MIKE We're all immigrants, Brian. Some of us just happened to come to America sooner than others. He thinks on this, as Matthew's attention is drawn like a magnet to a particular girl at one of the washboards. She's a young Swedish beauty, Ingrid. He stares after her, about to miss the turn into town. Mike nudges him. He steers the wagon back on track, as Colleen teases... COLLEEN (sing-song) Matthew's in love again...
EXT. LIVERY - DAY They pull up and stop. Robert E is busy stoking his fiery forge with coal, then pumping the heavy bellows. Mike and the kids climb down. MIKE (to Robert E) Would you please look at Bear's rear shoes while we're shopping, Robert E? ROBERT E No problem. MIKE Thank you.
+ ANOTHER ANGLE They walk on toward the general store. Out of earshot... BRIAN (to Mike) Is Robert E an immigrant, too? MATTHEW He was a slave, dummy. MIKE Matthew... (to Brian, a beat, then) Robert E did not come willingly. They walk past Jake Slicker who leans against his barber pole, shooting the breeze with some LOCALS. He nods. Mike returns it. BRIAN What about the Cheyenne? Are they immigrants, too? Mike stops. MIKE No. They were here long before any of us came... I was wrong. We're not all immigrants. They go inside...
INT. GENERAL STORE - DAY ...which isn't quite what it used to be. It's not as clean or as tidy or as well-stocked as when Maude was alive. And Loren's disposition has gone from bad to worse. He snaps at Brian, before the child even has a chance to open his mouth. LOREN I'm still outta jawbreakers. Brian shrugs. As the others shop, he drifts to the window and looks out. Suddenly, his eyes light up, as SOUNDS of commotion come from outside. BRIAN Hey!... It's Miss Olive! She's back! Matthew and Colleen run to look, excited. Mike follows, curious, with Loren behind her, dour.
EXT. MAIN STREET - DAY A handsome woman in her late forties, wearing a split leather skirt, Mexican sombrero and a silver pistol at her side, Olive Davis, is astride a palomino horse, assisting two of her COWHANDS in herding a half dozen prize horses down the street. Behind them, a black woman, Grace, drives a buckboard, with a sick COWHAND stretched out in the flatbed next to a tarped cargo, and a horse tied to the rear. People in the street stop to look, as others come out from their establishments, including Horace, Myra, Hank and Emily, carrying her baby.
INT. GENERAL STORE - DAY The children run outside. Loren continues to stare, sour-faced. Mike doesn't notice. She's just curious. MIKE Who is she? LOREN (an edge) My sister. His tone now causes Mike to look at him.
EXT. GENERAL STORE - DAY Olive stops and dismounts. OLIVE (shouting to her cowhands) Take 'em over to Robert E. Who by now has stepped out of the livery to see what's up.
EXT. LIVERY - DAY Robert E has his eye on something far more interesting to him than the approching horses.
+ ROBERT E'S POV/GRACE A pretty black woman, driving a wagon behind Olive. He watches her proud profile, her fine bearing, as she steps down from the wagon.
EXT. GENERAL STORE - DAY Olive starts into the store, but Grace stops her. She speaks with a Creole accent, without a hint of deference. GRACE Miss Olive, what about Willy? She gestures to the sick cowhand in the wagon. OLIVE In a minute. GRACE (reprimanding) Be he needs doctorin'... She's interrupted, as the children run out to Olive, greeting her warmly. She hugs them... OLIVE My poor angels! ...then picks Brian up and gives him an extra squeeze, as Mike and Loren come from the store. Other locals come up. OLIVE (continuing, to the kids) I didn't find out your ma died 'til I was halfway 'cross Old Mexico. They all stand quietly for a moment, then she looks at Loren. OLIVE (continuing) Same goes for Maude. He nods. There's a certain formality between them. Their differences in age and gender, plus whatever family history stands between them, are enough to make them seem more like acquaintances than siblings. OLIVE (continuing, to Loren) What happened? He shrugs, gesturing to Mike bitterly. LOREN Ask her. Olive turns to Mike, sizing her up. She puts Brian down and waits. MIKE Maude suffered a massive coronary. (off Olive's look) A heart attack. Olive nods, then offers her hand. OLIVE Olive Davis. MIKE (shakes it) Michaela Quinn COLLEEN She's a real doctor, all the way from Boston. BRIAN Everybody calls her Dr. Mike, 'cept me. I get to call her ma. This strikes Olive hard. Loren sees this. LOREN Charlotte left 'em to her on her deathbed. OLIVE (a beat, then rhetorical) That right? Grace knows Olive well enough to detect trouble in her tone. She breaks in, upbeat, to Mike... GRACE A doctor. Now, that's just what we need. (gestures to the wagon) Got a sick cowhand. Had a fever all the way from El Paso. With a quick look at Olive, Mike follows Grace to the wagon, just as Jake comes up. JAKE (to Olive) Find any silver mines? OLIVE Didn't need to. She gestures to the tarp, leading him to the wagon, right on Grace and Mike's heels. OLIVE (continuing) Stuff was so cheap, weren't no reason to get dirty for it. Just as Mike leans in to examine the cowhand... OLIVE (continuing) Got a sick cowboy there, Jake. You mind takin' a look at him? JAKE Will do. He goes to the rear of the wagon, shoots a "hands off" look at Mike and solicits the reluctant help of Horace to carry the man into the barber shop. Mike looks to Grace, who shrugs insolently, in plain view of Olive, who then turns to Emily. OLIVE (re: the baby) Well, look here, all kinds of things been goin' on while I was off gallivantin'. She pats the smiling Emily's cheek and reaches for the baby, cuddling it in her arms, nuzzling it tenderly.
+ ON MIKE as she takes in the seemingly contradictory image of this tough woman rancher, so sweetly nurturing... DISSOLVE TO
EXT. CHURCH - DAY Sunday service is letting out. The Reverend stands at the doors, chatting with parishioners, bidding goodbyes to Loren, Jake and others. Mike and the children pause at the base of the steps. She turns to see Olive exit and bestow a beautiful silver cross around the Reverend's neck. He and those nearby admire it lavishly, and he thanks Olive profusely. Mike also sees Emily hurry around them all and down the church steps, pulling her five-year old son along with one hand, her crying baby in the crook of her other arm. She seems upset. MIKE Emily? Emily pauses. MIKE (continuing) Is everything alright? EMILY The baby's been feelin' poorly... She bounces it in her arm, but the wailing only increases. EMILY (continuing) ...and now this mornin', Sam don't feel so good. Wouldn't even get out of bed... Sorry, Dr. Mike, but I gotta get lunch started. She heads off. MIKE (after her) Would you like me to take a look at Sam? EMILY (over shoulder) Oh, no. He'd never sit still for it. He'll send for Jake if he feels the need... She shakes her head in disapproval, but hurries away. MIKE (calling) What about the baby? EMILY Thanks, but she just needs a nap. Bye now. And Emily hastens across the bridge to town. Mike turns to find the children, but they're not there. As people begin to disperse, she looks around... They're with Olive. Mike hesitates, but then walks toward them. OLIVE (to the children) I brought you all presents... We'll go on out to the ranch and get 'em. She puts an arm each around Brian and Colleen, drawing Matthew into the circle with a look. Mike is clearly excluded, as Olive starts to lead the children away. OLIVE (continuing) And you'll stay for lunch. I'll cook your favorite. Fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy... Mike clears her throat for attention. Olive stops. The children look guilty for momentarily forgetting about Mike. OLIVE (continuing) You're welcome to come along, Miss... (catches herself) Doctor Quinn. BRIAN Hey, come on, ma. Olive stiffens at the word "ma." MIKE No... No, you children go ahead. I'm sure you have a lot to catch up on. OLIVE I'll have 'em back by supper time. MIKE Fine. Thank you. Olive leads them off, leaving Mike standing, looking after them... quite alone... DISSOLVE TO
INT. HOMESTEAD - DAY Mike works by the stove, sweating with effort. She's going to great pains to prepare supper, reading from an old cookbook propped on the shelf, as she sifts a mound of flour and begins scooping it into a tin measuring cup. MIKE (to herself, reading aloud) Two cups... She plops them into a large earthen bowl, causing clouds of flour dust to puff back in her face. MIKE (continuing) One pinch of salt. She reaches for a bowl of salt, but hesitates. What's a pinch? MIKE (continuing) Two fingers?... Three fingers? She searches the cookbook page, but finds no answer, so she just dips all fingers in and takes a very big "pinch" of salt and sprinkles it over the flour. MIKE (continuing) One half cup lard. She plops that in. More flour dust. MIKE (continuing) Cut together until pea size... That one stops her completely. She contemplates the direction a moment, but quickly gives up. She just takes a wooden spoon and starts mixing, more flour puffing up in her face. Smoke begins to rise from the oven. She starts to grab for the door, but remembers a pot holder, then opens it to a waft of smoke. She hauls out a pan, a charred roast. Suddenly, SOUNDS of a wagon outside. She hurriedly puts the pan down and tries to dust the flour from her dress, when the door opens.
+ OLIVE AND THE CHILDREN stand there, cheeks glowing from the wind of the ride. Matthew, Colleen and Brian each carry a package under their arms. Brian's puppy wags his tail, tongue hanging out.
EXT. HOMESTEAD - DAY Mike comes to the door, gesturing behind her. MIKE I was just making supper. The kids see the disaster behind her, not surprised. BRIAN Don't worry. (holds up a basket) We got leftovers. Mike's embarrassed in front of Olive and not just a little irritated. She forces a smile down at Brian, a protective hand to his shoulder, drawing him to her. MIKE (to Olive) Thank you. OLIVE Any time. (a beat) Well... Guess I'll be goin'. Matthew and Colleen both look at Mike expectantly, but she makes no reply. OLIVE (continuing) Gotta look after my sick cowhands, anyways. Olive hugs the kids, then gets in her wagon and heads off. She waves to the kids. They wave back, as Mike herds them inside...
INT. HOMESTEAD - DAY ...where they stand, staring at the burnt roast, the powdery pie dough. Mike goes to the fire, her back to them. COLLEEN Shouldn't we've asked Miss Olive in? MIKE I'm sorry... I'm... a little tired this evening. Colleen and Matthew exchange a look, but Brian doesn't pick up on the tension. He's still all enthusiasm. BRIAN (to Mike) Wanna see our presents?
+ ON MIKE They can't see the tears in her eyes. She wipes them away discreetly, then turns, mustering a smile. She sits at the table. Relieved, they join her. Brian opens his package first. It's a silver wolf. He holds it up proudly. MIKE Very nice. Next, Colleen displays a silver locket. MIKE (continuing) Lovely. She looks to Matthew, who hesitates, but then unfolds the brown paper from his package, revealing a silver-plated pistol. Mike's smile fades. The children see her disapproval. MATTHEW Miss Olive says I'm old enough. MIKE To kill another human being? MATTHEW To protect my family. BRIAN Miss Olive says he's the man of the house now. MIKE A very young man. MATTHEW (a beat) But a man. He re-wraps the gun and stands. He goes out the rear door toward the barn. The kids stare after him. So does Mike... DISSOLVE TO
INT. TELEGRAPH OFFICE - DAY Mike enters. Horace is busy transcribing some Morse Code. He gives her a smile and holds up a hand to ask her to wait. She smiles, nods, leans on the counter to watch him. He finishes and tears off the message. Horace Sorry to keep ya' waitin', Doc. She takes a letter from her pocket and gives it to him with a penny for postage. Mike No, it's fascinating. To think that all of the English language is composed of only twenty six letters, and then you manage to reduce even those to either a dot or a dash. Horace Aw, it's nothin'. He gets a couple of boxes from under the counter. Horace: (continuing) These came for ya'. She glances at their origins, pleased. Horace (continuing, jovial) Most women'd smile over a new hat or pair of shoes from the catalogue, but you... medicine makes you happy. She smiles, stacks the boxes in her arms. He starts around the counter. Horace Let me help you there. Mike: (out the door) No, I'm fine, thank you. She exits...
EXT. TELEGRAPH OFFICE ...and walks smack into Sully on his way in. Boxes tumble. He helps pick them up, but won't let her have them back. Sully Where's your wagon? Mike I can manage, really, thank you. Sully Where's your wagon? She gives up, gestures toward the general store. They start walking, Sully's wolf trotting alongside. Mike I don't want to keep you from your business. Sully It can wait. (a crooked smile) Just a telegram to the President. She looks sideways at him, as they pass the former Cooper boarding house, now boarded up, repossessed by the bank. Mike You're serious. Sully It's from Black Kettle... A few years back, Abraham Lincoln gave him an American flag. He thinks that makes a President his friend. Mike It was Lincoln's government that freed the slaves.
Sully And it was Lincoln's government sent Colonel Chivington to the Colorado Territory. Mike But I heard he was reprimanded after the Sand Creek Massacre. Sully He's just been called back to Washington. And they're replacing him with a man named Custer. Mike That's something, isn't it? Sully Who says he'll be any better? Mike Well, he can't be any worse. They start across the street, when a frantic Emily, having spotted Mike, com es running from her storefront tailoring/seamstress shop, carrying her baby. Emily Dr. Mike!... Dr. Mike! Mike runs toward her. They meet at the juncture of the general store and the barber shop. Jake, as well as other locals, has been stirred by her shouting. Emily thrusts the baby at Mike, who puts down her packages. Emily She's burning up with fever! Mike feels the baby's face. It's true. She takes the child from Emily and starts pulling the heavy bundling from around it, right down to it's little night shirt which she also strips off. Jake What the hell... Mike looks around quickly, then decides on Jake's shop as her best bet.
INT. BARBER SHOP - DAY She bolts inside with the baby, him right on her heels. Jake (continuing) ...you think you're doin'?! Emily, Sully and the others follow, as Mike holds the baby over Jake's shaving basin and begins pouring a pitcher of cool water over it. It screams as if scalded.
Jake: (continuing) You tryin' to kill that child?! Mike No, I'm trying to save it! She continues to pour, as the baby wails. Mike: (to Emily) We have to bring the temperature down. This is the best way. Emily's frightened, but she wants to believe. Jake No, you gotta keep 'em hot, so's to sweat the fever out. Mike looks up at Jake, and it dawns on her. She turns to Emily urgently. Mike Emily, does Sam have the same fever? Emily nods. Mike pulls Emily to the basin and hands the baby over. Mike: (continuing) Keep pouring. Trust me. Emily takes the pitcher and obeys, as Mike runs out of the shop. Jake and Sully take off after her, into...
EXT. STREET - DAY ...and down to the tailor shop. She bursts in the door... INT. EMILY'S TAILOR SHOP - DAY ...where the front room is a place of business, with two sewing machines and all the accoutrements of the tailoring trade. Jake You leave my patient alone! He's doin' just fine! Mike spots Emily's husband collapsed on the floor in his bed clothes, obviously stricken while trying to get help. She bends down to the man, lifts his eyelids. No pupil contraction. Mike: (subdued) He's doing just fine alright, Jake. She turns to face Jake. Mike: (continuing) He's dead. Jake lifts the man's lids as well. Sure enough. Mike looks to Sully. Mike Influenza. At the mere mention of the then-deadly word, Jake unconsciously wipes his hand on his pants. Jake The grippe. MIKE AND SULLY exchange a grim look, as... FADE OUT: END OF ACT ONE
ACT TWO FADE IN: EXT. HOMESTEAD/ESTABLISHING SHOT - DAY The barn doors open and Mike rides out on her horse, trailed by the children. EXT. BARN - DAY Matthew is resigned to staying behind, but Colleen looks worried and Brian hangs onto Mike's stirrup fearfully. She's torn between their feelings and what she knows is right. Brian Please, Ma... Lemme come to town with you. I promise I won't get the 'fluenza. Mike Unfortunately, germs don't honor promises, Brian. Colleen Who's going to look out for us? Matthew Me, silly. Matthew pulls Brian back away from Mike's horse. Mike: (to Colleen) It's for your own good. Matthew: to Mike, concerned) But what about your good? Mike Ah... Well, I signed something called the Hippocratic Oath when I became a doctor. Part of it was a pledge that my good comes after that of my patients. Colleen But what about us? We're your family... Least we're supposed to be, now. Mike You are my family, now. That's why I want you here, where it's safer. Colleen Miss Olive'll let us stay with her. Mike: (vehement) No! Colleen Why don't you like Miss Olive? Mike It's not a matter of liking or disliking. There's good reason to believe it was her cowhands who carried the influenza from Old Mexico. She's been exposed. Colleen Then so have you. Mike Not to the same degree. Colleen Yet. A look between them. Mike forces herself to ride away. They watch her go.
EXT. TOWN - DAY Mike rides in, past Robert E's livery, where he's solemnly building a pine coffin. He looks up and nods to her. She returns it. EXT. BARBER SHOP - DAY Mike rides on, past Jake's place, where some sickly LOCALS are lined up, waiting to be tended. One of them collapses. Mike is off her horse in a flash. Right next door, Loren is filling a seed bin. He runs over, calling inside...
Loren Jake! Mike kneels and lifts the fallen man's head into her lap. She's opening her medical bag, just as Jake comes out. Jake (to Loren) Give me a hand. They summarily pull the man away from Mike and drag him by his shoulders into the barber shop. Mike follows indignantly, into... INT. BARBER SHOP - DAY ...where another man lies unconscious on the bench and still another, chalk-pale, sits in the barber chair, being bled through a tubing inserted into his arm and draining through a funnel into a shaving bowl on the floor. Mike sees the bowl of blood, horrified. Mike: (to Jake) What on earth are you doing to this poor man?! Jake What's it look like? I'm bleedin' him. Mike Barbarism! Jake Got nothin' to do with barberin'... I'm lettin' the poison outta him, that's what. Mike shakes her head in amazement at his ignorance, as he slaps the fallen man's cheeks to revive him. Mike takes a beat, then tries another tact, her tone conciliatory. Mike Mr. Slicker... Wouldn't it make more sense if we worked together. I can help you... Loren (interrupts, sharply) Like you helped my wife when she was dyin'? This hits Mike hard. She stares down at the men, who look up at her accusingly. Their resentment is impenetrable. She walks out. EXT. BARBER SHOP - DAY She passes the line of flu victims and keeps right on going, past Loren's store and on toward Emily's storefront. Across the street, Myra leans on a post in front of the saloon. She and Mike exchange a glum look. EXT. EMILY'S TAILOR SHOP - DAY Mike knocks at the door. Momentarily, Olive opens it. Mike's both surprised and displeased. Mike I'm here to check on Emily and the baby. Olive They're fine, thanks. She actually starts to close the door. Mike Excuse me... I'm their doctor, and I'm here to examine them. She pushes past Olive and into... INT. EMILY'S TAILOR SHOP - DAY ...where Emily is bent over her sewing machine, in a grief-stricken daze, working by rote. The baby is in a cradle nearby. Emily looks up, exhausted and disoriented. Emily Dr. Mike?... Mike Emily... She goes to her and helps her up and to a sofa by the door. Mike: (continuing) You should be resting. Mike checks on the baby, satisfied that it's doing much better. Olive: (over Mike's shoulder) Best thing's to keep busy. That's what I did when my husband died. Got up the next mornin' and went right on with runnin' the ranch. Mike: (turns to face her) Emily's been doubly exposed to the influenza, and unless she takes care of herself, she'll be all the more susceptible. She goes back over to Emily, takes her pulse. Olive: (a beat) Well, I suppose reasonable folks can disagree. I'd say we let Emily be the judge of... Mike: (interrupts) You have ranching expertise. I have medical expertise. I don't tell you how to work your cattle. You don't tell me how to treat my patients. She helps Emily to her feet, leading her toward a staircase. Mike: (to Emily) I want you to lie down and rest. Emily nods. Olive follows, about to speak, but... Mike: (continuing, to Olive) And I'd appreciate it if you'd consult with me before gifting any of my children with deadly weapons. Olive steps in front of her, face to face. Olive Your children? Charlotte was my best friend. Truth to right, they should be livin' with me. Mike But it wasn't your name she spoke on her deathbed. Mike steers Emily around her. Olive stares straight ahead, stung.
EXT. LIVERY - DAY Robert E has finished the one coffin he was working on and has started on another, when Grace comes up. He stops, glad to see her. Robert E How do, Grace? She looks to the coffins. Grace Better than some. He nods respectfully. She reaches in her pocket and holds a dollar bill out to him. He waits for an explanation, which she finds difficult. Finally... Grace: (continuing) Go on. Take it. She thrusts it into his hand. Robert E What for? She gestures at the coffin he's working on. Grace One of those. Robert E: (weary of the mounting death toll) Who's it this time? Grace Me. Robert E What're you talkin' 'bout? Grace I wanna make sure I'm looked after 'case I catch it. Robert E Not everybody gets it dies. Grace But if I do, make a nice one for me, will ya', Robert E? A beat. Robert E No. I won't. He thrusts the dollar back in her hand. Grace: (surprised) Why not? Robert E 'Cause you ain't gonna get sick and die. Grace And how do you know that? A beat, as he looks into her eyes. Robert E I won't let you. Grace is touched. Robert E is clearly telling her he cares for her. She puts the dollar back in her pocket.
INT. TELEGRAPH OFFICE - DAY Mike enters. Hank is there, haranguing a sickly-looking Horace. Hank What d'ya' mean, I can't order more whiskey? Horace Well, you can, but it won't come. Hank Why the hell not? Horace 'Cause the stage company ain't coming through again 'til the influenza's gone. (turns to Mike) They called it an epidemic. That right? Mike I'm afraid so. Hank I need that whiskey... Mike: (whirls on Hank) There're more important things than whiskey! Hank Like what? Mike Like medicines... Supplies... Food... The implications of the town's isolation finally hit the selfish Hank. He runs out. Mike turns to Horace who looks weak and flushed. She reaches across the counter and puts her hand to his forehead. Mike You have a fever... I want you to go home and go to bed. Horace: (a beat) I'm gettin' it, huh? Mike I'm afraid so. She lets this sink in, then gently... Mike: (continuing) You should close up. He hesitates, looking around the office. Horace Haven't closed up in the middle of the day since the flash flood... Mike Horace, with no stages running, there won't be any mail anyway. He's feeling worse by the moment and needs no more prompting. He takes off his sleeve guards and allows Mike to lead him outside... EXT. TELEGRAPH OFFICE - DAY ...where he locks the door. Mike notices people heading for the general store, as word of the stagecoach company's stoppage spreads. She can feel the rising panic. She quickly fumbles in her medical bag for a small packet and hands it to Horace. Mike Stir this quinine into a glass of water and drink it. I'll stop by to check on you later. Horace Thanks, Doc. He heads off. Some people are now running for the general store. Mike joins them. EXT. GENERAL STORE - DAY Mike has to push her way inside with everyone else... INT. GENERAL STORE - DAY ...but once there she doesn't join in the frenzy of buying that's going on. She looks around to see who's present, formulating a game plan. The Reverend is there, trying to encourage calm. Olive is there, trying to encourage sales. Reverend: (to Hank) It really isn't fair to hoard... Hank shoves him aside like a fly. The Reverend manages to maintain his balance and turns to find Jake with his arms full. Reverend: (continuing, appealing) Jake, you've gotta help me set an example. Jake I'd like to help you out, Reverend, but this is a practical matter. He piles on a few more items, before going to the counter, where Loren's happy to take everyone's money. Mike goes to the Reverend first.
Mike We need to talk. Reverend: (distracted) I'm trying to keep order at this moment. Mike We need to talk about more than this moment. He looks at her, hears and sees the gravity of her tone and demeanor. She takes his arm and leads him over to Loren. Seeing this, both Olive and Jake join them, self-appointed town leaders. Mike: (continuing, hushed voice) We have a serious problem. Loren: (gesturing around) That's plain as day. Mike I'm not talking about the stage not coming through. I'm talking about controlling the influenza. We have to do something to stop the spread. Jake Nothin' we can do. Mike Yes, there is. We can isolate the ill. Olive What's that got to do with it? Mike Influenza is caused by a germ. At least, that's a very prominent theory. Loren A "theory," eh? Jake What the hell's a "germ"? Mike A tiny animal that's too small for the eyes to see. Jake Then how would you know that? Mike Let's just say, I read about it. They look skeptical, but she presses on. Mike: (continuing) Please, listen to me. There's every reason to believe that these germs are highly contagious. (off their looks) They pass from one person directly to another very easily. Jake I 'spose these little critters can jump? Mike: (ignores his sarcasm) We're not sure exactly how it's spread, but it's through some sort of human contact. Loren You mean, it's catchin'? Mike Exactly. Reverend So what is it you need? Mike A hospital Jake Well, 'scuse us, but we don't have no fancy hospital 'round these parts. Mike Not an actual hospital. But the same idea. A place to isolate the sick and treat them properly. Reverend: (a beat) You can use the church. She looks at him gratefully. Mike Thank you, Reverend, but I need some place with several rooms to seperate those with differing stages of the illness. Olive We don't have any place like that. Mike Yes, we do. Charlotte's boarding house. Loren It's the bank's boarding house, now. Mike We'd just be borrowing it. Reverend That's trespassing. Mike This is an emergency. He shakes his head, worried. She looks at their expression, ranging from disapproval to, at best, indecision. Mike: (continuing) Nevermind... I'll do it myself. She walks out determinedly. They all follow her... EXT. GENERAL STORE - DAY ...outside and down the street, mumbling among themselves, their opinions, differences, as she ignores them, strides along. EXT. BOARDING HOUSE - DAY Mike goes up to the front door and starts to pull at the nailed boards that bar it. She gets nowhere, and no one makes a move to help. SUDDENLY The crowd parts, as Sully appears and goes up to the boarding house. He draws his tomahawk and uses it to pry the planks off. He opens the door for Mike. They exchange a look, then she turns to the gathered crowd... Mike Bring all the sick here. The people hesitate. Mike: (continuing) If you don't, this whole town could be wiped out. A beat. Slowly, the people begin to respond... FADE OUT: END OF ACT TWO
ACT THREE FADE IN: EXT. TOWN - DAY Matthew drives their wagon past the field near the church, heading into town. Brian is lying down in back with his wolf pup. Colleen sits beside him, his head cradled in her lap. They pass the cemetery where TWO MEN dig a new grave. A coffin waits beside them, ready to be lowered in the ground. Colleen looks up at Matthew, frightened. EXT. OLD BOARDING HOUSE - DAY Mike comes out, as Matthew lifts Brian from the wagon bed. The pup follows them. Matthew: (to Mike) It's the influenza. He came down with the fever last night. But Mike already knew that just by looking at Brian's flushed face. She looks stricken, but fights to maintain her professional demeanor. Mike There's room upstairs. Matthew carries Brian inside. Colleen starts to follow, but Mike stops her. Mike: (continuing) Wait here. Colleen What for? Mike For Matthew. To take you back home. Colleen: (shakes her head) No. We're not goin' back there all alone. What if we both got it? There'd be nobody to take care of us. You're too busy takin' care of everybody else. We could die out there and nobody'd even know. Leastwise you. Mike Colleen, there's a full blown epidemic going on. The less you're exposed the better. Colleen No! We're stayin'! And I'm gonna take care of Brian, like family should! She marches past Mike into the converted boarding house. Mike's shaken by Colleen's accusation.
INT. BRIAN'S ROOM - NIGHT There are two children lying on the lone bed. Brian is on a cot nearby. Mike sits beside him, sponging his forehead and upper body. Colleen sits at her side, attentive, but idle. Mike: (to Colleen) It's time to sponge Tommy down. She gestures to one of the children, the bowl near the bed. Colleen hesitates, but then goes to sit with the child, dutifully cooling his fever. INT. OLD DINING ROOM - NIGHT The room has been converted to a ward. The old dining table has been pushed to one end and serves as an examining area and central station for medication. Cots and pallets line the periphery of the room, with more than a dozen patients in them. Olive, the Reverend and a few other townspeople help tend the sick - sponging, administering quinine in water, feeding broth. Matthew enters, carrying two buckets of water. He sets one down and takes the other to refill the water basins, moving from patient to patient. At one, he stops and looks down at a man, unattended. MATTHEW'S POV The man's eyes are open, staring - lifeless. Matthew takes it in for a beat, then turns and taps the Reverend, who looks and realizes instantly what has happened... again. EXT. SHANTY TOWN - DAY Matthew and the Reverend carry the man's form, carefully wrapped in a sheet on a stretcher, into the squatter's camp. People get up from their fires, come out of tents, at the grim sight. Their voices bring others out. From a lean-to emerges...
INGRID ...the lovely Swedish girl Matthew's smitten with. Several younger children straggle after her. She looks worn and pale, yet still beautiful. He's torn inside, glad to see her, yet somber under the circumstances. The moment she spots them, her face fills with fear. She runs to them, pulling the sheet from the man's face, recognizing him, crying out in agony... Ingrid Papa!... Nay!... ...bending over him weeping uncontrollably. Her head is bowed right next to Matthew's chest. He shares a look with the Reverend, then stares down at her, shaken... EXT. OLD BOARDING HOUSE - DAY Colleen is helping a much-sicker Horace inside. He hesitates at the door. She looks up at him, sees his fear. Suddenly, Sully appears at his other side. Sully Come on, Horace, Dr. Mike'll fix you right up. Horace nods, summons his courage and allows them to help him inside... INT. BRIAN'S BEDROOM - DAY Another woman tends one of the other children, when Mike and Sully enter. Brian is unconscious, his wolf pup at his side. Sully stands looking down at him, as Mike leans to sponge his forehead with one hand and pick up a glass of water with her other. Mike: (to Sully) Please, lift his head. Sully bends down and does so. This stirs the boy a little, and as Mike puts the glass to his lips, he drinks. Mike The quinine should bring his fever down. (trying to convince herself) Soon. Sully lowers Brian's head back down. Mike takes a bottle of white powder from her pocket and holds it up so only Sully can see. It's almost empty. Mike: (continuing) This is the last of the quinine. It'll be gone by tomorrow. Without the stage coming through... Her voice trails off. A beat. Sully The Cheyenne brew a tea. Works good on fevers.
Mike What's it made of? Sully Purple Coneflowers. I can get some. She considers, but then... Mike Don't trouble yourself. I just can't use it. Sully Why? Because it's Indian medicine? Mike Of course not. It's because I don't know the proper dosage, possible adverse reactions... Sully: (interrupts) It's gotta be better than nothin'. Mike: (struggling) I can't experiment on people... I mean, I simply can't trust a medicine I'm not familiar with. Sully: (a beat) You sound like somebody else I know. Mike And who would that be? Sully Jake. He exits on her reaction. DISSOLVE TO:
INT. OLD DINING ROOM - DAY Dr. Mike finishes listening to Horace's chest with her stethoscope, then stands, stretches her back. She's tired, and not feeling that well herself. She wipes her brow, starts to fill a basin with water as Myra enters. Mike Myra... Are you alright? Myra I'm fine. Hank closed the saloon. He's afraid of the grippe. Mike What about you? Why aren't you afraid? Myra I had it once, and I lived to tell...So... I thought...well... maybe you could use an extra hand. Olive We got all the hands we need. Mike: (ignores Olive) Of course, I can use your help. Olive She's a whore. Mike walks right over to Olive. Mike: (a challenge) She's my friend. Olive Don't get me started 'bout the company you keep... Just then, Emily enters, diverting their attention. Mike & Olive Emily... Emily I come to help.
Mike Are you sure you're feeling strong enough? Olive: (a look at Mike) Sure she is. Emily: (shrugs) I figure it'll take my mind off Sam's dyin'. Olive 'Course it will. Just like I said. Mike What about the baby? Emily She's fine. She's with Harriet. Olive takes Emily by the arm and leads her into another room... Olive Come on now. ...leaving the Myra conflict behind. Myra: (to Mike) What can I do? Mike: (glances around) Well... Horace needs bathing. Mike hands her a basin and sponge. Myra lowers her voice. Myra You want me to wash... you know... everything? Mike Uh, no. No, just his chest and back will be sufficient. Myra nods. ANGLE ON MYRA AND HORACE Myra crosses to Horace, sits next to him and gently pulls down the sheet. He can't take his eyes off of her. He's never been this close to her. Myra You're shakin'. You got the chills? Horace No, ma'am. Myra Nervous? Horace Yes, ma'am. Myra Now, don't you be. Everything's gonna be fine. She dips the sponge in the basin, begins to wipe his face and chest. Myra: (continuing) Just close your eyes. And he does, as she continues to bathe him tenderly. INT. BRIAN'S ROOM - DAY Colleen is sitting with Brian, when Mike enters. She feels his forehead, his vital signs. The wolf pup is still at his side. Colleen can read Mike's expression. Colleen His fever hasn't broken. Mike shakes her head weakly. Colleen Should I get you some soup? Mike shrugs. Colleen exits. Mike sits next to Brian and begins to bathe him, letting the fear show in her face for the first time. Then, feeling warm herself, she glances around to make sure no one sees and quickly sponges her own forehead...
EXT. GENERAL STORE - DAY Loren has the door closed and locked. A dozen townsfolk, including Hank and Jake, are struggling to get in, shouting at Loren through the glass. Jake doesn't look well and is unusually subdued, especially considering the circumstances. Jake: (appealing to him) You can't close now, Loren. Hank Open up. I need tobacco! The crowd pushes and yells. Loren Tomorrow mornin'. Two hours. That's the way it'll be 'til the stage starts up again. Jake What's the point of waitin'? Loren So we don't run out. Jake But you're outta flour already. Hank You won't sell it to us, we're gonna take it! (to crowd) Let's go! Jake gets out of the way, as the crowd surges forward. Loren backs further into the store. Hank picks up a rocking chair outside, about to hurl it through the window when... SULLY'S TOMAHAWK ...smashes into it, splitting the wood. Hank drops it. The crowd moves back. Sully walks up and retrieves his tomahawk. Sully You heard what the man said... Store'll be open tomorrow. Hank glares at Sully, but is faced down. Hank: (a parting shot) We'll be here bright an' early. He walks away, and the crowd begins to disperse. IN THE BACKGROUND behind the window, Loren reacts to this help from his nemesis. Sully looks at him; Loren looks away. INT. OLD DINING ROOM - NIGHT Mike is making rounds, examining patients. She looks utterly exhausted, but works without pause. Colleen is right beside her, keeping pace, but she can see the telltale flush rising in Mike's cheeks. Colleen Dr. Mike, you gotta rest. Mike In a while. Jake enters, drawing their attention. He looks plainly ill. Mike Mr Slicker? Jake: (fumbles) I got a friend took sick... You wouldn't have some of that "quine" you could spare? Mike looks closer at Jake, goes to feel his forehead, and he's sick enough to let her. She leads him to a spare cot where he practically collapses. Mike Colleen, a glass of water, please. Mike starts to undo Jake's heavy shirt, remove his arms from the sleeves. She sees marks left by attempts at bleeding. She shakes her head, as Colleen comes up with a glass. Mike takes the ever more precious quinine bottle from her pocket and sprinkles some into the water, carefully recapping the bottle and putting it back. She raises Jake's head and gives him the medicine. Jake: (with great difficulty) 'Preciate this... She shushes him, puts his head back down, then starts sponging his forehead and arms. ON COLLEEN as she watches, moved by the sight of Mike working selflessly on a man who has not always been kind to her... DISSOLVE TO: 62 INT. OLD BOARDING HOUSE - DAY Colleen enters with an armful of clean towels. Every cot is occupied. Loren and the Reverend enter, carrying another sick man. Loren: (to Mike) Where you want this one? Mike I think there's an empty cot upstairs in the front room... Colleen: (nods, quietly) Mrs. Thompson died last night. They carry the man out. Mike is portioning out the very last of the quinine into three glasses. Finally, the bottle is empty. She's now quite feverish. Mike: (to Colleen) Hand me that pitcher. Colleen gives her the water, and Mike fills the glasses. Mike: (continuing) One for Horace, one for Brian and one for Mr. Slicker. Colleen What about you? Mike: (matter-of-fact) That's all there is. Mike starts to pick up the tray, but Colleen takes it from her. She hesitates. Colleen I'm sorry about the mean things I said. Mike reaches out and pats her hand, a weak smile. Mike I'm sorry, too. (a beat) My father often had to leave when I wanted him home with me. I suppose I'd forgotten what that feels like. Colleen nods, then starts out with the tray, but pauses again and looks back at Mike. Colleen All this week, I watched you... The way you care for people... (a beat) I want to be a doctor when I grow up... Like you. A look passes between them, a pledge, a bond that Mike recalls having once made herself. DISSOLVE TO:
INT. BRIAN'S ROOM - DAY Brian's pup suddenly stands, whimpers and wags his tail. Colleen passes the door, stops, looks inside. Colleen (shouts) Dr. Mike! Mike comes running in, terrified that the worse has happened, but when she sees Brian sitting up in bed, relief washes over her. Mike Brian! She rushes to the bed and hugs him to her fiercely, in tears. EXT. OLD BOARDING HOUSE - DAY Sully and Matthew sit on the steps, keeping vigil. Mike comes out. Mike Brian's going to be all right. They jump up. Matthew lets out a whoop. Sully Can we go in? Mike Yes, he's... But before she can continue, she faints. Sully catches her, lifts her in his arms, carries her inside. Matthew follows, fearful. INT. CHARLOTTE'S OLD BEDROOM - DAY Mike is in bed where Charlotte died. Sully, Matthew and Colleen stand anxiously beside her. Colleen All the quinine's gone. We got nothin' to give her. There's a long silence, then Sully starts out. Matthew Where you goin'? Sully To get the Cheyenne Medicine Man. He looks back at Mike, reluctant to leave, afraid she might die before he returns. Matthew sees this. Matthew I'll go. Sully considers, then takes an Indian amulet from around his neck and places it around Matthew's. Sully (a beat, then) Take this to Cloud Dancing. It will keep you from harm. He's my friend. He's camped with Chief Black Kettle at Bear Springs. Tell him I need him. Matthew I know the way. Matthew leaves. Sully pulls a chair up and sits by the bed, watching Mike... FADE OUT END OF ACT THREE
ACT FOUR FADE IN:
EXT. MOUNTAIN TRAIL - DAY Matthew rides along the trail, looking for Cloud Dancing. He reins in, takes a drink from his canteen, surveys the horizon. Then he sees... A LONE RIDER ...wearing a military tunic and army hat, up on the ridge above him, back lit by the sun. Matthew waves at the man. Matthew Hey, soldier! The rider urges his horse and starts towards Matthew. Matthew: (shouting) Where's your patrol? As the rider gets closer, Matthew can see there's no saddle. It's not army; it's a Cheyenne WARRIOR, wearing a battle trophy tunic and 7th Cavalry hat. Suddenly, he lets out a war cry and charges. ANOTHER ANGLE Matthew turns his horse and spurs him down the hill to escape... Matthew Heyaaaaa! ...but he's stopped by the convergence of another renegade brave. And another appears from a different direction. The first warrior maneuvers next to Matthew, and, in a flash, knocks him from his saddle. Matthew hits the ground hard. The Indians rush him, knives drawn. One is about to stab him, when the first warrior yells, pointing to the amulet around Matthew's neck. Cloud Dancing (O.S.) (in Cheyenne) Stop!
+ANOTHER ANGLE Cloud Dancing has ridden into view. He signals the warrior in sign language. The warrior cuts the amulet from Matthew's neck with his knife and takes it to Cloud Dancing...
INT. CHARLOTTE'S OLD BEDROOM - DAY Sully comes to the doorway to check on Mike. Stops and stares.
+ SULLY'S POV Emily and Olive are bathing Mike. They've slipped her gown off her shoulders, so her torso is bare. Her back is to Sully, as Olive holds her and Emily sponges water over her skin. Sully is mesmerized by the sight of her lovely bare back. After a beat, he turns away and silently goes out into...
INT. HALLWAY - DAY ...where Brian is standing in his night shirt. He looks frightened. Brian I wanna see ma. Sully goes to him and crouches down to eye level. Sully She's sleepin'. Brian What's wrong with her? Sully Caught the grippe, just like you did. Brian (a beat) That's the room where my real ma died. Sully Now, don't go thinkin' like that. Brian (starting to cry) What if Dr. Mike dies, too? Sully picks Brian up in his arms. Sully (soothing) She's not gonna die. Brian Promise? As much to himself as to Brian...
Sully Promise. Sully carries the boy back into his bedroom. INT. CHARLOTTE'S OLD BEDROOM - DAY Emily exits with the water basin, as Olive pulls Mike's gown back up around her. She gently lowers Mike back onto the bed. Mike's eyes flutter open, semiconscious, but coherent. Mike (a whisper) Olive?... Olive is surprised. She sits on the edge of the bed, closer in order to hear. Mike (continuing) Olive, the children... If I... She doesn't have to say the word. It's understood. Olive No need to worry about them... 'Sides, you're gonna get well, you hear. She gives Mike's arm an awkward pat, then stands. Olive (continuing) You're gonna get well. Mike closes her eyes. EXT. TRAIL - DAY Cloud Dancing leads the way along a narrow wooded trail, followed by Matthew. Cloud Dancing's horse drags a travois along behind. The medicine man suddenly stops, signals for silence, listens. He quickly gestures to follow him into... EXT. UNDERBRUSH - DAY ...where Matthew looks to Cloud Dancing questioningly. The Indian points. THEIR POV / SOLDIERS A calvary patrol makes it's way along the ridgeline, colors of the 7th regiment flying. ON MATTHEW AND CLOUD DANCING watching the soldiers pass. As they near, their leader is recognizable. It's not Chivington, but a younger, slimmer man with longish blond hair and beard. Cloud Dancing (whispers) The new white chief... Custer. They watch as the column passes out of sight. When it's safe, Cloud Dancing signals to continue. EXT. OLD BOARDING HOUSE - DAY Matthew and Cloud Dancing ride up. Matthew dismounts, ties his horse and goes inside. Cloud Dancing waits. INT. CHARLOTTE'S OLD BEDROOM - DAY Mike is still unconscious. Sully keeps watch, as Olive changes a bowl of water. Matthew appears in the doorway. Sully's instantly on his feet. Matthew He's here. He wants you to bring her outside. Sully goes to the bed and scoops Mike up, prepares to carry her out of the clinic.
Olive (protesting) Hold on... Where do you think you're takin' her? Olive follows Sully out of the room. Olive (continuing) Hey, put her down! EXT. OLD BOARDING HOUSE - DAY Sully comes out, carrying Mike. Olive, Matthew and Colleen are right behind him. Cloud Dancing motions for Sully to place Mike on the travois. He does, gently. Olive What the deuce do you think you're doin'! Sully Gettin' help. Olive She's in no condition to be goin' anywhere... (re Cloud Dancing) ...leastwise with that character. Sully ignores her. Cloud Dancing starts off on the horse with Mike, and Sully walks beside her. Olive stares, disapproving, hands on her hips.
INT. TELEGRAPH OFFICE - DAY Horace, still weak and in his bed clothes, is behind the counter with Matthew, who hands him a piece of paper. Matthew You sure you're up to this? Horace reads from the slip of paper and starts tapping out Morse code. Horace (continuing) Dr. Mike's family's oughta know how sick she is. He continues tapping out the message. EXT. WOODS - DAY In a small clearing, Cloud Dancing lays the last stones that form a large circle. He divides it into four quadrants, sets down offerings of tobacco and a buffalo hide. A small fire glows in the centre. Sully sits nearby with Mike in his arms. Cloud Dancing passes crow feathers over her, to purify her, then repeats the gesture with smoke from a pipe. Cloud Dancing (in English) Place her in the medicine wheel. Sully stands and puts Mike gently in the center of the circle, near the fire, on the buffalo hide. Cloud Dancing motions to him, and they sit cross-legged, on either side of her. Cloud Dancing picks up a small pot of herbs he's been brewing, pours a cup and motions Sully to lift Mike's head. He does, and as Cloud Dancing eases some of the brew into her mouth, she opens her eyes, sees Sully's face. He strokes her hair, and she closes her eyes again. Cloud Dancing begins to sing a Cheyenne song, to call on the healing spirits... DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. WOODS / THE MEDICINE WHEEL - DAY The sun is lower in the sky. Mike's still asleep, the fire nearly out. Cloud Dancing walks the circle one last time, throws a tobacco offering on the coals, then walks off a ways. Sully watches him with concern, then follows.
+ANOTHER ANGLE Sully Will she live? Cloud Dancing She fights hard. Sully But will she live? Cloud Dancing Her work may be done on this side. ON SULLY He hears what Cloud Dancing is trying to tell him, but there's no way he can make peace with it. DISSOLVE TO:
INT. OLD DINING ROOM - DAY Sully enters, carrying Mike, followed by Cloud Dancing, who carries a clay pot filled with herb tea in one hand and a bag of the dried herb in the other. As they pass the dining room, Jake Slicker looks up from his cot. Jake What d'ya think you're doin', bringin' him in here? Sully Glad you're feelin' better, Jake. Olive enters, sizing up Mike's condition. Olive Well, she don't look no worse. Sully (re tea) She needs a sip of this tea every hour. Cloud Dancing hands Olive the tea. Sully takes the bag. Sully (continuing) And there's enough leaves here to brew tea for the others. No one moves, but then Emily steps forward, taking the bag. Emily I'll do it. (to another woman) Margaret, you help me, please. The woman follows Emily from the room. Sully starts out with Mike, followed by Cloud Dancing. Olive sniffs the tea, exchanges a dubious look with Jake. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. TOWN - DAY The patrol of 7th Cavalry soldiers rides into town, LT. COLONEL CUSTER in their lead. INT. OLD DINING ROOM - DAY Custer and a couple of his men enter. Olive What can I do for you, sir? Custer The name's Custer. Lt. Colonel Custer. He allows this to sink in, then... Custer (continuing) Came across some fresh Indian "travis" tracks down by the creek. INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - DAY Sully and Cloud Dancing listen. Sully has his tomahawk out. INT. OLD BOARDING HOUSE - DAY There's a tense moment in which no one says anything, then, her better side triumphing... Olive We ain't seen Indians, have we? There's a general mumble from the room. Except for Jake. Olive shoots him a look that says his better side had better triumph, too. Custer waits, but no information is forthcoming. Olive You're welcome to search the premises, Lt. Colonel, but I have to warn you, we got ourselves an epidemic of grippe. Custer looks about, registering all the sick people. Without a word, he turns and exits with his men. INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - DAY Sully lowers his tomahawk. DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. OLD BOARDING HOUSE - NIGHT - ESTABLISHING Quiet, the town is asleep. All the lights in the clinic are off except for one room.
INT. CHARLOTTE'S OLD BEDROOM - NIGHT A lamp gives off a soft glow. Sully sleeps sitting up in a chair next to Mike's bed. MIKE (O.S.) Sully... Sully opens his eyes. Was he dreaming? But again... MIKE (continuing) Sully? Mike's awake, looks around, recognizing where she is, concerned. MIKE (continuing) The children. Are they all right? He's on his feet, smiles. SULLY Don't go 'way. He exits. She looks around, sees the tea. She picks up the jar, sniffs it, places it back on the table. The children enter with Sully. Colleen/Matthew/Brian Ma... Dr. Mike... They crowd about the bed, showering her with hugs and kisses. Sully hangs back. Finally, Olive steps forward. Mike looks up at her. Olive sees the children gathered around Mike so lovingly. With a look, Olive gives Mike her blessing. OLIVE Told you you'd get well. Mike smiles. OLIVE Come on, now. Dr. Mike needs her rest. Everybody skeddadle. The children give a last kiss, start out. Brian stops, looking up at Sully. BRIAN Just like you promised. Brian follows the other children out. Sully crosses back to Mike, as she drifts off to sleep again. He watches her for a moment, then he leans down and kisses her gently on the forehead. He reaches over, blows out the lamp, taking us to BLACK as... FADE OUT THE END