Book: Barry Lindon



BARRY LYNDON

A screenplay by

Stanley Kubrick

Based on the novel by William Makepeace Thackeray

FADE IN:

EXT. PARK - DAY

Brief shot of duel.

RODERICK (V.O.)

My father, who was well-known to the best circles in this kingdom under the name of roaring Harry James, was killed in a duel, when I was fifteen years old.

EXT. GARDEN - DAY

Mrs. James, talking with a suitor; Roderick, at a distance.

RODERICK (V.O.)

My mother, after her husband's death, and her retirement, lived in such a way as to defy slander. She refused all offers of marriage, declaring that she lived now for her son only, and for the memory of her departed saint.

EXT. STREET - DAY

Mother and son walking together.

RODERICK (V.O.)

My mother was the most beautiful women of her day. But if she was proud of her beauty, to do her justice, she was still more proud of her son, and has said a thousand times to me that I was the handsomest fellow in the world.

EXT. CHURCH - DAY

Mother and son entering church.

RODERICK (V.O.)

The good soul's pleasure was to dress me; and on Sundays and Holidays, I turned out in a velvet coat with a silver-hilted sword by my side, and a gold garter at my knee as fine as any lord in the land. As we walked to church on Sundays, even the most envious souls would allow that there was not a prettier pair in the kingdom.

EXT. FIELD - DAY

A picnic. The Dugan family. Roderick.

RODERICK (V.O.)

My uncle's family consisted of ten children, and one of them was the cause of all my early troubles; this was the belle of the family, my cousin, Miss Dorothy Dugan, by name.

EXT. DUGAN MANOR HOUSE - DAY

A sprawling run-down Irish manor house with large garden, stables, barn and farm.

Idealized images of Dorothy.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Ah! That first affair, how well one remembers it! What a noble discovery it is that the boy makes when he finds himself actually and truly in love with some one! A lady who is skilled in dancing or singing never can perfect herself without a deal of study in private. So it is with the dear creatures who are skilled in coquetting. Dorothy, for instance, was always practicing, and she would take poor me to rehearse her accomplishments upon...

Dorothy talking with the exciseman.

RODERICK (V.O.)

... or the exciseman, when he came his rounds.

Dorothy talking to the steward.

RODERICK (V.O.)

... or the steward.

Dorothy sitting under a tree with the curate, reading a book.

RODERICK (V.O.)

... or the poor curate.

Dorothy talking to the apothecary's lad.

RODERICK (V.O.)

... or the young apothecary's lad from Dugan's Town whom I recollect beating once for that very reason.

Roderick, fighting with apothecary's lad.

RODERICK (V.O.)

The torments of jealousy she made me endure were horrible.

EXT. FIELD - DAY

Dorothy, like a greyhound released from days of confinement, and given the freedom of the fields at last, runs at top-speed, left and right, back and forth, returning every moment to Roderick.

She runs and runs until she is out of breath, and then laughs at the astonishment which keeps Roderick motionless and staring at her.

After catching her breath, and wiping her forehead, she challenges Roderick to a race.

RODERICK

I accept, but I insist on a wager. The loser must do whatever the winner pleases.

DOROTHY

Agreed.

RODERICK

Do you see the gate at the end of the field? The first to touch it will be the winner.

They line up together and start on a count of three. Dorothy uses all her strength, but Roderick holds back, and Dorothy touches the gate five or six paces ahead of him.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I was certain to win, but I meant to lose to see what she would order me to do.

Dorothy catches her breath, thinking of the penalty. Then she goes behind the trees and, a few second later, comes out and says:

DOROTHY

Your penalty is to find a cherry-colored ribbon which I have hidden somewhere on my person. You are free to look for it anywhere you will, and I will think very little of you if you do not find it.

They sit down on the grass. Roderick searches her pockets, the fold of her short bodice and her skirt, then her shoes; then he turns up her skirt, slowly and circumspectly, as high as her garters, which she wears upon the knee. He unfastens them and finds nothing; he draws down her skirt and gropes under her armpits. The tickling makes her laugh.

RODERICK

I feel the ribbon.

DOROTHY

Then you must get it.

Roderick has to unlace her bodice and touch her pretty breasts, over which his hand must pass to reach it.

DOROTHY

Why are you shaking?

RODERICK

With pleasure at finding the ribbon.

EXT. FIELD - DAY

Military review. One hundred English troops, a few mounted officers, a small military band, fifty local people.

The Dugan family, Roderick and his mother, Captains Best and Grogan.

Roderick admires the troops in their splendid uniforms.

RODERICK (V.O.)

About this time, the United Kingdom was in a state of great excitement from the threat generally credited of a French invasion. The noblemen and people of condition in that and all other parts of the kingdom showed their loyalty by raising regiments of horse and foot to resist the invaders. How I envied them. The whole country was alive with war's alarums; the three kingdoms ringing with military music, while poor I was obliged to stay at home in my fustian jacket and sigh for fame in secret.

INT. BALLROOM AT FENCIBLES - NIGHT

Dorothy and Roderick entering.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Once, the officers of the Kilwangen regiment gave a grand ball to which Dorothy persuaded my to take her.

Several cuts depicting the evening.

Dorothy ignores Roderick; dances, chats, laughs, drinks punch, and finally, strolls outside with Captain Best.

Roderick makes a half-hearted try at dancing with Miss Clancy.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I have endured torments in my life, but none like that. Some of the prettiest girls there offered to console me, for I was the best dancer in the room, but I was too wretched, and so remained alone all night in a state of agony. I did not care for drink, or know the dreadful comfort of it in those days; but I thought of killing myself and Dorothy, and most certainly of making away with Captain Best.

EXT. FENCIBLES BALLROOM - DAWN

The guests leaving and saying their goodbyes.

RODERICK (V.O.)

At last, and at morning, the ball was over.

EXT. ROAD - DAWN

Dorothy and Roderick on horseback together.

DOROTHY

Sure it's a bitter night, Roderick dear, and you'll catch cold without a handkerchief to your neck.

To this sympathetic remark, from the pillion, the saddle made no reply.

DOROTHY

Did you and Miss Clancy have a pleasant evening, Roderick? You were together, I saw, all night.

To this, the saddle only replies by grinding his teeth, and giving a lash to Daisy.

DOROTHY

Oh! Mercy, you make Daisy rear and throw me, you careless creature, you.

The pillion had by this got her arm around the saddle's waist, and gave it the gentlest squeeze in the world.

RODERICK

I hate Miss Clancy, you know I do! And I only danced with her because -- because -- the person with whom I intended to dance chose to be engaged the whole night.

DOROTHY

I had not been in the room five minutes before I was engaged for every single set.

RODERICK

Were you obliged to dance five times with Captain Best, and then stroll out with him into the garden?

DOROTHY

I don't care a fig for Captain Best; he dances prettily to be sure, and is a pleasant rattle of a man. He looks well in his regimentals, too; and if he chose to ask me to dance, how could I refuse him?

RODERICK

But you refused me, Dorothy.

DOROTHY

Oh! I can dance with you any day, and to dance with your own cousin at a ball as if you could find no other partner. Besides, Roderick, Captain Best's a man, and you are only a boy, and you haven't a guinea in the world.

RODERICK

If ever I meet him again, you shall see which is the best man of the two. I'll fight him with sword or with pistol, captain as he is.

DOROTHY

But Captain Best is already known as a valiant soldier, and is famous as a man of fashion in London. It is mighty well of you to fight farmers' boys, but to fight an Englishman is a very different matter.

Roderick falls silent.

EXT. SMALL BRIDGE OVER A STREAM - DAWN

They come to an old, high bridge, over a stream, sufficiently deep and rocky.

DOROTHY

Suppose, now, Roderick, you, who are such a hero, was passing over the bridge and the enemy on the other side.

RODERICK

I'd draw my sword, and cut my way through them.

DOROTHY

What, with me on the pillion? Would you kill poor me?

RODERICK

Well, then, I'll tell you what I'd do. I'd jump Daisy into the river, and swim you both across, where no enemy could follow us.

DOROTHY

Jump twenty feet! You wouldn't dare to do any such thing on Daisy. There's the captain's horse, Black George, I've heard say that Captain Bes

-­She never finished the word for, maddened by the continual recurrence of that odious monosyllable, Roderick shouts:

RODERICK

Hold tight to my waist!

And, giving Daisy the spur, springs with Dorothy over the parapet, into the deeper water below.

The horse's head sinks under, the girl screams as she sinks, and screams as she rises.

Roderick lands her, half-fainting, on the shore.

INT. MOTHER'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - DAY

Various cuts showing illness and convalescence. Roderick feverish: the doctor taking his pulse. Mother brings a tray of food.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I went home, and was ill speedily of a fever, which kept me to my bed for a week.

Dorothy visiting him.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Dorothy visited me only once, but I quitted my couch still more violently in love than I had been ever before.

EXT. DUGAN MANOR HOUSE - DAY

The air is fresh and bright, and the birds sing loud amidst the green trees. Roderick is elated, and springs down the road, as brisk as a young fawn.

He encounters an orderly whistling "Roast Beef of Old England," as he cleans down a cavalry horse.

RODERICK

Whose horse, fellow, is that?

ORDERLY

Feller, indeed! The horse belongs to my captain, and he's a better fellow nor you any day.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I did not stop to break his bones, as I would on another occasion, for a horrible suspicion had come across me, and I made for the garden as quickly as I could.

Roderick see Captain Best and Dorothy pacing the path together. Her arm is under his, and he is fondling and squeezing her little hand which lies closely nestling against his arm.

Some distance beyond them is Captain Grogan, who is paying court to Dorothy's sister, Mysie.

RODERICK (V.O.)

The fact is that, during the week of my illness, no other than Captain Best was staying at Castle Dugan, and making love to Miss Dorothy in form.

CAPTAIN BEST

No, Dorothy, except for you and four others, I vow before all the gods, my heart had never felt the soft flame.

DOROTHY

Ah, you men, you men, John, your passion is not equal to ours. We are like -- like some plant I've read of -- we bear but one flower, and then we die!

CAPTAIN BEST

Do you mean you never felt an inclination for another?

DOROTHY

Never, my John, but for thee! How can you ask me such a question?

Raising her hand to his lips.

CAPTAIN BEST

Darling Dorothea! Roderick rushes into view, drawing his little sword.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I pulled out a knot of cherry-colored ribbons, which she had given me out of her breast, and which somehow I always wore upon me, and flung them in Captain Best's face, and rushed out with my little sword drawn.

RODERICK

She's a liar -- she's a liar, Captain Best! Draw, sir, and defend yourself, if you are a man!

Roderick leaps at Captain Best, and collars him, while Dorothy makes the air echo with her screams.

Captain Grogan and Mysie hasten up.

Though Roderick is a full growth of six feet, he is small by the side of the enormous English captain.

Best turns very red at the attack upon him, and slips back clutching at his sword.

Dorothy, in an agony of terror, flings herself round him, screaming:

DOROTHY

Captain Best, for Heaven's sake, spare the child -- he is but an infant.

CAPTAIN BEST

And ought to be whipped for his impudence, but never fear, Miss Dugan, I shall not touch him, your favorite is safe from me.

So saying, he stoops down and picks up the bunch of ribbons, which Roderick had flung at Dorothy's feet, and handing it to her, says in a sarcastic tone:

CAPTAIN BEST

When ladies make presents to gentlemen, it is time for other gentlemen to retire...

DOROTHY

Good heavens, Best! He is but a boy and don't signify any more than my parrot or lap-dog. Mayn't I give a bit of ribbon to my own cousin?

RODERICK

(roaring)

I'm a man, and will prove it.

CAPTAIN BEST

You are perfectly welcome, miss, as many yards as you like.

DOROTHY

Monster! Your father was a tailor, and you are always thinking of the shop. But I'll have my revenge, I will! Roddy, will you see me insulted?

RODERICK

Indeed, Miss Dorothy, I intend to have his blood as sure as my name's Roderick.

CAPTAIN BEST

I'll send for the usher to cane you, little boy, but as for you, miss, I have the honor to wish you a good day.

Best takes off his hat with much ceremony, and makes a low bow, and is just walking off, when Michael, Roderick's cousin, comes up, whose ear has likewise been caught by the scream.

MICHAEL

Hoity-toity! John Best, what's the matter here?

CAPTAIN BEST

I'll tell you what it is, Mr. Dugan. I have had enough of Miss Dugan here and your Irish ways. I ain't used to 'em, sir.

MICHAEL

(good-humoredly)

Well, well! What is it? We'll make you used to our ways, or adopt English ones.

CAPTAIN BEST

It's not the English way, for ladies to have two lovers, and, so, Mr. Dugan, I'll thank you to pay me the sum you owe me, and I resign all claims to this young lady. If she has a fancy for school-boys, let her take 'em, sir.

MICHAEL

Pooh! Pooh! Best, you are joking.

CAPTAIN BEST

I never was more in earnest. Best exits.

MICHAEL

(in a towering rage)

You -- you! Hang you for a meddling brat, your hand is in everybody's pie. What business had you to come brawling and quarreling here, with a gentleman who has fifteen hundred a-year?

Michael runs after Best.

DOROTHY

(gasps)

Oh, I shall die; I know I shall. I shall never leave this spot.

CAPTAIN GROGAN

(whisper to Dorothy)

The Captain is gone.

Dorothy, giving him an indignant look, jumps up and walks towards the house.

CAPTAIN GROGAN

(in a soothing tone to Roderick)

This is a pretty way to recommend yourself to the family.

RODERICK

(shouts after Michael)

The man that marries Dorothy Dugan must first kill me -- do you mind that?

MICHAEL

(shouting back from a distance)

Pooh, sir. Kill you -- flog you, you mean! I'll send for Nick the huntsman to do it.

CAPTAIN GROGAN

You are a gallant lad, and I like your spirit. But what Dugan says is true. It's a hard thing to give a lad counsel who is in such a far-gone state as you; but, believe me, I know the world, and if you will but follow my advice, you won't regret having taken it. Dorothy Dugan has not a penny; you are not a whit richer. And, my poor boy, don't you see -- though it's a hard matter to see -- that she's a flirt, and does not care a pin for you or Best either?

RODERICK

Dorothy might love me or not, as she likes, but Best will have to fight me before he marries her!

CAPTAIN GROGAN

Faith, I think you are a lad that's likely to keep your word.

He looks hard at Roderick for a second to two, then he walks away, humming a tune, looking back at Roderick as he goes through the old gate out of the garden.

When Grogan is gone, Roderick is quite alone, and he flings himself down on the bench where Dorothy had made believe to faint, and had left her handkerchief and the ribbons and, taking them up, hides his face in them, and bursts into a passion of tears.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I must have sat for some hours bemoaning myself on the garden-bench, for the dinner-bell clanged as usual at three o'clock, which wakened me from my reverie.

EXT. DUGAN MANOR HOUSE - DAY

As Roderick passes the courtyard, he sees the Captain's saddle still hanging up at the stable-door, and his odious red-coated brute of a servant, swaggering with the scullion-girls and kitchen people.

MAID

The Englishman's still there, Master Roderick. He's there in the parlor. Go in, and don't let 'im browbeat you, Master Roderick.

INT. DUGAN MANOR HOUSE - DINING ROOM - DAY

Roderick enters and takes his place at the bottom of the big table; the butler speedily brings him a cover.

UNCLE

Hello, Roddy, my boy! Up and well? That's right.

AUNT

He'd better be home with his mother.

UNCLE

Don't mind her. It's the cold goose she ate for breakfast -- didn't agree with her. Take a glass of spirits, Mrs. Dugan, to Roderick's health.

It is evident that his uncle doesn't know of what happened, but Michael, who is at dinner too, and Harry, and almost all the girls, look exceedingly black and the captain foolish; and Miss Dorothy, who is again by his side, ready to cry. Captain Grogan sits smiling, and Roderick looks on as cold as stone.

His uncle is in high good-humor.

UNCLE

Dorothy, divide that merry thought with the captain! See who'll be married first. Jack Best, my dear boy, never mind a clean glass for the claret, we're short of crystal at Castle Dugan; take Dorothy's and the wine will taste none the worse. Mrs. Dugan and ladies, if you please; this is a sort of toast that is drunk a great deal too seldom in my family, and you'll please to receive it with all the honors. Here's to Captain and Mrs. John Best, and long life to them. Kiss her, Jack, you rogue; for faith, you've got a treasure.

RODERICK

(spring up)

His already?!

HARRY

Hold your tongue, you fool -- hold your tongue!

RODERICK

(shouting)

He has already been slapped in the face this morning, Captain John Best; he's already been called a coward, Captain John Best; and this is the way I'll drink his health. Here's your health, Captain John Best.

Roderick flings a glass of claret into his face. The next moment, he is under the table, tripped up by Harry, who hits him a violent cuff on the head; as he goes down, he hardly has time to hear the general screaming and scurrying that is taking place above him, being so fully occupied with kicks, and thumps and curses, with which Harry is belaboring him.

HARRY

You fool! You great blundering marplot -- you silly beggarly brat (a thump at each) Hold your tongue!

When Roderick gets up from under the table, the ladies are all gone; but he has the satisfaction of seeing the captain's nose is bleeding, as his is -- Best is cut across the bridge, and his beauty spoiled forever.

UNCLE

In Heaven's name, what does all the row mean? Is the boy in fever again?

HARRY

(turning to his father)

The fact is, sir, that the young monkey has fallen in love with Dorothy, and finding her and the captain mighty sweet in the garden today, he was for murdering Jack Best.

CAPTAIN BEST

(bristling up)

And, I'll tell you what, Mr. Dugan, I've been insulted grossly in this house. I ain't at all satisfied with these here ways of going on. I'm an Englishman, I am, and a man of property; and I -- I -

­HARRY

If you're insulted, and not satisfied, remember there's two of us, Best.

On which, the captain falls to washing his nose in water, and answering never a word.

RODERICK

(in dignified tone)

Mr. Best may also have satisfaction any time he pleases, by calling on Roderick James, Esquire, of Jamesville.

His uncle bursts out laughing, and in this laugh, Captain Grogan joins.

RODERICK

Captain Grogan, I beg you to understand that, for my cousin Harry, who has been my best friend through life, I could put up with rough treatment from him; yet, even that sort of treatment I will bear from him no longer; and any other person who ventures on the like will not like the cost. Mr. Best knows that fact very well; and, if he's man, he'll know where to find me.

UNCLE

It is getting late, and your mother will be anxious about you. One of you had better go home with him.

(turning to his sons)

Or the lad may be playing more pranks.

HARRY

Both of us ride home with Best here.

CAPTAIN BEST

I'm not afraid of highwaymen. My man is armed, and so am I.

HARRY

You know the use of arms very well, Best, and no one can doubt your courage; but Michael and I will see you home for all that.

UNCLE

Why, you'll not be home till morning, boys. Kilwangan's a good ten miles from here.

HARRY

We'll sleep in Best's quarters. We're going to stop a week there. And, in another week, my boy.

And here, Harry whispers something in the Captain's ear.

CAPTAIN GROGAN

I'll go home with the boy.

EXT. ROAD - LATE DAY

Grogan walks with Roderick.

CAPTAIN GROGAN

A pretty day's work of it you have made, Master Roderick. Knowing your uncle to be distressed for money, and try and break off a match which will bring fifteen hundred a-year into the family? Best has promised to pay off the four thousand pounds which is bothering your uncle so. He takes a girl without a penny -- a girl that has been flinging herself at the head of every man in these parts these ten years past, and missing them all, and a boy who ought to be attached to your uncle as to your father.

RODERICK

And so I am.

CAPTAIN GROGAN

And this is the return you make for his kindness! Didn't he harbor you in his house when your father died, and hasn't he given you and your mother, rent-free, your fine house of Jamesville yonder?

RODERICK

Mark this, come what will of it, I swear I will fight the man who pretends to the hand of Dorothy Dugan. I'll follow him if it's into the church, and meet him there. I'll have his blood, or he shall have mine. Will you take my message to him, and arrange the meeting?

CAPTAIN GROGAN

Well, if it must be, it must. For a young fellow, you are the most bloodthirsty I ever saw. No officer, bearing His Majesty's commission, can receive a glass of wine on his nose, without resenting it -- fight you must, and Best is a huge, strong fellow.

RODERICK

He'll give the better mark. I am not afraid of him.

CAPTAIN GROGAN

In faith, I believe you are not; for a lad I never saw more game in my life. Give me a kiss, my dear boy. You're after my own soul. As long as Jack Grogan lives, you shall never want a friend or a second. They embrace.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Poor fellow! He was shot six months afterwards, at Minden, and I lost thereby a kind friend. But we don't know what is in store for us, and that's a blessing.

EXT. HOUSE - LATE DAY

Mother greeting Roderick and Captain Grogan.

RODERICK (V.O.)

In spite of my precautions to secrecy, I half-suspected that my mother knew all from the manner in which she embraced me on my arrival, and received our guest, Captain Grogan.

His mother looks a little anxious and flushed and, every now and then, gazes very hard into the Captain's face.

RODERICK (V.O.)

But she would not say a word about the quarrel, for she had a noble spirit, and would as lief have seen any one of her kindred hanged as shirking from the field of honor.

INT. MOTHER'S HOUSE - RODERICK'S BEDROOM - DAY

Roderick waking up.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I never slept sounder in my life, though I woke a little earlier than usual, and you may be sure my first thought was of the event of the day, for which I was fully prepared.

Roderick at table with paper and ink.

RODERICK (V.O.)

And now I sat down and wrote a couple of letters; they might be the last, thought I, that I should ever write in my life.

See him write: "Dearest Mother."

INT. MOTHER'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY

RODERICK (V.O.)

Then I went down to breakfast, where my mother was waiting for me, you may be sure. We did not say a single word about what was taking place.

Roderick eats his breakfast with a good appetite; but in helping himself to salt, spills it, on which his mother starts up with a scream.

MOTHER

Thank God, it's fallen towards me! And then, her heart being too full, she leaves the room.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Ah! They have their faults, those mothers; but are there any other women like them?

There is an elegant, silver-mounted sword that hangs on the mantelpiece under the picture of Roderick's late father.

A pair of pistols hang on each side of the picture.

Roderick takes down the sword and pistols, which are bright and well-oiled, and collects flints, balls and gunpowder.

EXT. MOTHER'S HOUSE - DAY

Captain Grogan and Orderly arrive.

RODERICK

Have you taken my message to him?

CAPTAIN GROGAN

The meeting is arranged. Captain Best is waiting for you now.

RODERICK

My mare is saddled and ready; who's the captain's second?

CAPTAIN GROGAN

Your cousins go out with him. Roderick and Grogan, and the Orderly ride off.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I didn't take leave of Mrs. James. The curtains of her bedroom-windows were down, and they didn't move as we mounted and trotted off.

EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - DAY

They ride their horses at a leisurely pace.

CAPTAIN GROGAN

That's a very handsome sword you have there.

RODERICK

It was with this sword that my late father, Harry James, God rest his soul, met Sir Huddelstone Fuddelstone, the Hampshire baronet, and was fatally run through the neck. He was quite in the wrong, having insulted Lady Fuddelstone, when in liquor, at the Brentford Assembly. But, like a gentleman, he scorned to apologize.

CAPTAIN GROGAN

And now you risk the same fate. If you are killed, your mother is all alone in the world.

RODERICK

I am Harry James' son, and will act as becomes my name and quality.

EXT. FOREST CLEARING - DAY

Harry, Michael and the Captain are already there. Best, flaming in red regimentals, a big a monster as ever led a grenadier company. The party are laughing together.

RODERICK

(to Captain Grogan)

I hope to spoil this sport, and trust to see this sword of mine in that big bully's body.

CAPTAIN GROGAN

Oh, it's with pistols we fight. You are no match for Best with the sword.

RODERICK

I'll match any man with the sword.

CAPTAIN GROGAN

But swords are today impossible; Captain Best is -- is lame. He knocked his knee against the swinging park gate last night, as he was riding home, and can scarce move it now.

RODERICK

Not against Castle Dugan gate, that has been off the hinges these ten years.

CAPTAIN GROGAN

It must have been some other gate.

They alight from their horses, and join and salute the other gentlemen.

CAPTAIN GROGAN

I have just explained to Mister James that Captain Best is lame, and that swords are impossible.

HARRY

Oh, yes! Dead lame.

Harry comes up to shake Roderick by the hand, while Captain Best takes off his hat, and turns extremely red.

HARRY

And very lucky for you, Roderick, my boy. You were a dead man else, for he is a devil of a fellow -- isn't he, Grogan?

CAPTAIN GROGAN

A regular Turk. I never yet knew the man who stood to Captain Best.

HARRY

Hang the business. I hate it. I'm ashamed of it. Say you're sorry, Roderick. You can easily say that.

CAPTAIN BEST

If the young feller will go to Dublin, as proposed...

RODERICK

I'm not sorry -- I'll not apologize -- and I'll as soon go to Dublin as to hell!

Grogan takes him aside.

CAPTAIN GROGAN

Look here, Roderick, my boy; this is silly business. The girl will marry Best, mark my words; and as sure as she does, you'll forget her. You are but a boy. Best is willing to consider you as such. Dublin's a fine place, and if you have a mind to take a ride thither and see the town for a month, here are twenty guineas at your service. Make Best an apology, and be off.

RODERICK

A man of honor dies, but never apologizes. I'll see the captain hanged before I apologize.

HARRY

(with a laugh to Grogan)

There's nothing else for it. Take your ground, Grogan -- twelve paces, I suppose?

CAPTAIN BEST

(in a big voice)

Ten, sir, and make them short ones, do you hear, Captain Grogan?

HARRY

Don't bully, Mr. Best. Here are the pistols.

(with some emotion to Roderick)

God bless you, my boy; and when I count three, fire.

RODERICK

This is not one of my pistols.

HARRY

They are all right, never fear. It's one of mine. Yours will serve, if they are needed, for the next round.

CAPTAIN GROGAN

Roderick, fire at his neck -- hit him there under the gorget; see how the fool shows himself open.

Michael, who has not spoken a word, Harry, and the Captain retire to one side, and Harry gives the signal.

It is slowly given, and Roderick has the leisure to cover his man well.

Captain Best changes color and trembles as the numbers are given.

At "three" both pistols go off. Best gives a most horrible groan, staggers backwards and falls.

THE SECONDS

(crying out)

He's down! He's down!

Running towards him, Harry lifts him up Michael takes his head.

MICHAEL

He's hit here, in the neck.

Laying open his coat, blood is seen gurgling from under his gorget.

HARRY

How is it with you?

The unfortunate man does not answer, but when the support of Harry's arm is withdrawn from his back, groans once more and falls backwards.

MICHAEL

(with a scowl)

The young fellow has begun well. You had better ride off, young sir, before the police are up. They had wind of the business before we left Kilwangan.



RODERICK

Is he quite dead?

MICHAEL

Quite dead.

CAPTAIN GROGAN

Then the world's rid of a coward. It's all over with him, Roddy -- he doesn't stir.

He gives the huge prostrate body a scornful kick with his foot.

HARRY

We are not cowards, Grogan, whatever he was! Let's get the boy off as quick as we may. Your man shall go for a cart, and take away the body of this unhappy gentleman. This has been a sad day's work for our family, Roderick James, and you have robbed us of fifteen-hundred a-year.

RODERICK

It was Dorothy did it.

Roderick takes the ribbons she gave him out of his waistcoat, and the letter, and flings them down on the body of Captain Best.

RODERICK

There! Take her those ribbons. She'll know what they mean; that's all that's left of her of two lovers she had and ruined.

MICHAEL

And now, in Heaven's name, get the youngster out of the way.

HARRY

I'll go with you. They mount up and gallop off.

EXT. MOTHER'S HOUSE - DAY

Upon seeing Roderick and Harry ride up, his mother, who has been waiting outside, rushes to her son with wild screams of joy. He dismounts, and she kisses and embraces him.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I need not tell you how great was my mother's pride and exultation when she heard from Harry's lips the account of my behavior at the duel.

INT. MOTHER'S HOUSE - PARLOR - DAY

Still much excitement and hustle and bustle.

HARRY

The boy must go into hiding, for a short time anyway. Dublin is the best place for him to go, and there wait until matters are blown over.

MOTHER

Dublin? But the poor lad has never been away from home. He will be as safe here as in Dublin.

HARRY

I wish that were true, Auntie dear, but I'm afraid the bailiffs may already be on their way from Kilwangan.

INT. RODERICK'S BEDROOM - DAY

His mother is rushing about and packing a valise. Harry sits on the bed.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Harry persisted in the necessity of instant departure, in which argument, as I was anxious to see the world, I must confess, I sided with him; and my mother was brought to see that, in our small house, in the midst of a village, escape would be impossible, and capture would be impossible to avoid.

INT. MOTHER'S BEDROOM - DAY

His mother takes out a stocking from her escritoire, and gives Roderick twenty golden guineas.

MOTHER

(gravely)

Roderick, my darling, my wild boy, I have forebodings that our separation is to be a long one. I spent most of all night consulting the cards regarding your fate in the duel, and all signs betoke a separation. Here is twenty guineas -- all that I have in the world and I want you to keep your father's sword and pistols, which you have known to use so like a man.

EXT. MOTHER'S HOUSE - DAY

Roderick's departure.

RODERICK (V.O.)

She hurried my departure now, though her heart, I know, was full, and almost in half-an-hour from my arrival at home, I was once more on the road again, with the wide world, as it were, before me.

Roderick waves. His mother cries.

EXT. HIGH ROAD TO DUBLIN - DAY

RODERICK (V.O.)

No lad of seventeen is very sad who has liberty for the first time, and twenty guineas in his pocket; and I rode away, thinking, I confess, not so much of the kind of mother left alone, and of the home behind me, as of tomorrow, and all the wonders it would bring.

Roderick happily riding down the road.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I had no doubts of the future; thinking that a man of my person, parts, and courage, could make his way anywhere. So I rode on, singing to myself, or chatting with the passersby; and all the girls along the road said, "God save me, for a clever gentleman."

Farm girls in the fields flirting with him.

RODERICK (V.O.)

As for thoughts of Dorothy Dugan, there seemed to be a gap of a half-a-score of years.

EXT. ROAD TO DUBLIN - DAY

A well-armed gentleman dressed in green, and a gold cord, with a patch on his eye, and riding a powerful mare, puts his horse alongside.

ARMED GENTLEMAN

Good day to you, young sir.

RODERICK

Good morning.

ARMED GENTLEMAN

Where are you bound for?

RODERICK

(after a long look at his companion)

That is none of your business.

ARMED GENTLEMAN

Is your mother not afraid on account of the highwayman to let one so young as you travel?

RODERICK

(pulling out a pistol)

Not at all, sir. I have a pair of good pistols that have already done execution, and are ready to do it again.

At this, a pock-marked man coming up, the well-armed gentleman spurs into his bay mare, and leaves Roderick.

EXT. ROAD TO DUBLIN - DAY

RODERICK (V.O.)

A little later on, as I rode towards Kilcullen, I saw a crowd of peasant people assembled round a one-horse chair, and my friend in green, as I thought, making off half-a-mile up the hill.

A footman howls, at the top of his voice.

FOOTMAN

Stop thief!

But the country fellows only laugh at his distress, and make all sorts of jokes at the adventure which had just befallen.

COUNTRY FELLOW #1

Sure, you might have kept him off with your blunderbush!

COUNTRY FELLOW #2

O the coward! To let the Captain bate you, and he only one eye!

COUNTRY FELLOW #3

The next time my lady travels, she'd better leave you at home!

RODERICK

What is this noise, fellows?

Roderick rides up amongst them, and seeing the lady in the carriage, very pale and frightened, gives a slash of his whip, and bids the red-shanked ruffians keep off.

Pulling off his hat, and bringing his mare up in a prance to the chair-window.

RODERICK

What has happened, madam, to annoy your ladyship?

MRS. O'REILLY

Oh, I am grateful to you, sir. I am the wife of Captain O'Reilly hastening to join him at Dublin. My chair was stopped by a highwayman; this great oaf of a servant-man fell down on his knees, armed as he was, and though there were thirty people in the next field, working, when the ruffian attacked, not one of them would help but, on the contrary, wished him "good luck."

COUNTRY FELLOW #1

Sure, he's the friend of the poor, and good luck to him.

COUNTRY FELLOW #2

Was it any business of ours?

RODERICK

(shouting)

Be off to your work, you pack of rascals, or you will have a good taste of my thong.

(to Mrs. O'Reilly)

Have you lost much?

MRS. O'REILLY

Everything -- my purse, containing upwards of a hundred guineas, my jewels, my snuff-boxes, watches. And all because this blundering coward fell to his knees...

FOOTMAN

Be fair, ma'am, them wasn't so much. Didn't he return you the thirteen pence in copper, and the watch, saying it was only pinchbeck?

MRS. O'REILLY

Don't be insolent, or I'll report you to the Captain.

FOOTMAN

Sorry, ma'am.

He shuffles a few steps away and frowns in the direction that the Captain has vanished.

MRS. O'REILLY

That fool didn't know what was the meaning of a hundred-pound bill, which was in the pocket-book that the fellow took from me.

RODERICK

I am riding to Dublin myself, and if your ladyship will allow me the honor of riding with you, I shall do my best to protect you from further mishap.

MRS. O'REILLY

But I shouldn't like to put you to such trouble, Mister... ?

RODERICK

O'Higgins... Mohawk O'Higgins.

EXT. ROADSIDE INN - DAY

They stop at the inn.

RODERICK

(very gallantly)

As you have been robbed of your purse, may I have permission to lend your ladyship a couple of pieces to pay any expenses which you might incur before reaching your home?

MRS. O'REILLY

(smiling)

That's very kind of you, Mr. O'Higgins.

He gives her two gold pieces.

INT. INN - DAY

Roderick and Mrs. O'Reilly finishing their meal. We will hear dialogue underneath Roderick's voice over.

RODERICK (V.O.)

How different was her lively rattle to the vulgar wenches at Kilwangan assemblies. In every sentence, she mentioned a lord or a person of quality. To the lady's question about my birth and parentage, I replied that I was a young gentleman of large fortune, that I was going to Dublin for my studies, and that my mother allowed me five hundred per annum.

MRS. O'REILLY

You must be very cautious with regard to the company you should meet in Dublin, where rogues and adventurers of all countries abound. I hope you will do me the honor of accepting lodgings in my own house, where Captain O'Reilly will welcome with delight, my gallant young preserver.

Paying the bill.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Perhaps had I been a little older in the world's experience, I should have begun to see that Madame O'Reilly was not the person of fashion she pretended to be; but, as it was, I took all her stories for truth, and, when the landlord brought the bill for dinner, paid it with the air of a lord. Indeed, she made no motion to produce the two pieces I had lent her.

EXT. DUBLIN - STREET - NIGHT

They ride by.

RODERICK (V.O.)

And so we rode on slowly towards Dublin, into which city we made our entrance at nightfall. The rattle and splendor of the coaches, the flare of the linkboys, the number and magnificence of the houses, struck me with the greatest wonder; though I was careful to disguise this feeling.

EXT. O'REILLY HOUSE - DUBLIN - NIGHT

RODERICK (V.O.)

We stopped at length at a house of rather mean appearance, and were let into a passage which had a great smell of supper and punch.

INT. O'REILLY HOUSE - DINING ROOM - NIGHT

Captain O'Reilly, a stout red-faced man, without a periwig, and in a rather tattered nightgown and cap.

Roderick and Mrs. O'Reilly.

CAPTAIN O'REILLY

Mr. O'Higgins, I cannot say how grateful I am for your timely assistance to my wife.

RODERICK

I am only sorry that I was unable to prevent the villain from carrying off all her ladyship's money and pearls.

CAPTAIN O'REILLY

Mr. O'Higgins, we are in your debt, and rest assured, sir, you have friends in this house whenever you are in Dublin.

(pours a glass)

Mister O'Higgins, I wonder if I know your good father?

RODERICK

Which O'Higgins do you know? For I have never heard your name mentioned in my family.

CAPTAIN O'REILLY

Oh, I am thinking of the O'Higgins of Redmondstown. General O'Higgins was a close friend of my wife's dear father, Colonel Granby Somerset.

RODERICK

Ah -- I see. No, I'm afraid mine are the O'Higgins of Watertown.

CAPTAIN O'REILLY

I have heard of them.

There are relics of some mutton-chops and onions on a cracked dish before them.

CAPTAIN O'REILLY

My love, I wish I had known of your coming, for Bob Moriaty and I just finished the most delicious venison pasty, which His Grace the Lord Lieutenant, sent us, with a flash of sillery from his own cellar. You know the wine, my dear? But as bygones are bygones, and no help for them, what say ye to a fine lobster and a bottle of as good claret as any in Ireland? Betty, clear these things from the table, and make the mistress and our young friend welcome to our home.

Captain O'Reilly searches his pockets for some money to give to Betty.

CAPTAIN O'REILLY

I'm sorry, Mr. O'Higgins, but I don't seem to have any small change. May I borrow a ten-penny piece to give to the girl?

MRS. O'REILLY

I have some money, my dear. Here, Betty, go to the fishmonger and bring back our supper, and mind you get the right change.

She takes out one of the golden guineas Roderick gave to her.

INT. DINNING ROOM - LATER

They are eating.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Our supper was seasoned, if not by any great elegance, at least by a plentiful store of anecdotes, concerning the highest personages of the city, with whom, according to himself, the captain lived on terms of the utmost intimacy. Not to be behind hand with him, I spoke of my own estates and property as if I was as rich as a duke.

INT. O'REILLY HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT

The couple wishing Roderick goodnight.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Had I been an English lad, the appearance of the chamber I occupied might, indeed, have aroused instantly my suspicion and distrust. But we are not particular in Ireland on the score of neatness, hence the disorder of my bed-chamber did not strike me so much.

Broken door.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Was there a lock to the door, or a hasp to fasten it to?

Dress lying over bed.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Though my counterpane was evidently a greased brocade dress of Mrs. O'Reilly.

Cracked mirror.

RODERICK (V.O.)

And my cracked toilet-glass not much bigger than a half-crown, yet I was used to these sort of ways in Irish houses, and still thought myself to be in that of a man of fashion.

Drawers, full of junk.

RODERICK (V.O.)

There was no lock to the drawers, which, when they did open, were full of my hostess' rouge-pots, shoes, stays, and rags.

INT. BEDROOM - O'REILLY HOUSE - NIGHT

In the middle of the night, Mrs. O'Reilly comes to Roderick's room on a flimsy pretext, and in the course of events, he has his first woman.

INT. COACH - DAY

Roderick, Captain and Mrs. O'Reilly.

CAPTAIN O'REILLY

I needn't ask whether you had a comfortable bed. Young Fred Pimpleton slept in it for seven months, during which he did me the honor to stay with me, and if he was satisfied, I don't know who else wouldn't be.

EXT. PROMENADE - PHOENIX PARK - DAY

Roderick, Captain and Mrs. O'Reilly, their friends. Various cuts.

RODERICK (V.O.)

After breakfast, we drove out to Phoenix Park, where numbers of the young gentry were known to Mrs. O'Reilly, to all of whom she presented me in such a complimentary way that, before half an hour, I had got to be considered as a gentleman of great expectations and large property.

INT. O'REILLY HOUSE - NIGHT

RODERICK (V.O.)

I had little notion then that I had got amongst a set of impostors -­that Captain O'Reilly was only an adventurer, and his lady a person of no credit. The fact was, a young man could hardly have fallen into worse hands than those in which I now found myself.

An evening of gambling.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Their friends were always welcome on payment of a certain moderate sum for their dinner after which, you may be sure, that cards were not wanting, and that the company who played did not play for love merely.

Various cuts of the characters present.

RODERICK (V.O.)

What could happen to a man but misfortune from associating with such company? And in a very, very short time I became their prey.

Roderick loses two hundred guineas to Captain O'Reilly in a single hand.

We see Captain O'Reilly cheat, but Roderick does not.

He pays him the 18 gold guineas, remaining from the sum his mother gave him.

RODERICK

I shall have to write out a note for the rest of it, Captain O'Reilly.

EXT. STREET - OUTSIDE O'REILLY HOUSE - DAWN

Roderick exits to the street. The sound of the gambling can still be heard in the street. He is soon joined by Councillor Mulligan.

COUNCILLOR MULLIGAN

Master Roderick, you appear a young fellow of birth and fortune; let me whisper in your ear that you have fallen into very bad hands -- it's a regular gang of swindlers; and a gentleman of your rank and quality should never be seen in such company. The captain has been a gentleman's gentleman, and his lady of no higher rank. Go home, pack your valise, pay the little trifle you owe me, mount your mare, and ride back again to your parents -­it's the very best thing you can do.

Roderick does not reply, and walks slowly away from him down the street.

INT. O'REILLY HOUSE - RODERICK'S BEDROOM - EARLY MORNING

Roderick enters.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Into a pretty nest of villains, indeed, was I plunged! When I returned to my bed-chamber, a few hours later, it seemed as if all my misfortunes were to break on me at once.

Valise open, wardrobe lying on the ground, and Roderick's keys in the possession of O'Reilly and his wife.

CAPTAIN O'REILLY

Whom have I been harboring in my house? Who are you, sirrah?

RODERICK

Sirrah! Sirrah, I am as good a gentleman as any in Ireland!

CAPTAIN O'REILLY

You're an impostor, young man, a schemer, a deceiver!

RODERICK

Repeat the words again, and I run you through the body.

CAPTAIN O'REILLY

Tut, tut! I can play at fencing as well as you, Mr. Roderick James. Ah! You change color, do you? Your secret is known, is it? You come like a viper into the bosom of innocent families; you represent yourself as the heir to my friends the O'Higgins of Castle O'Higgins; I introduce you to the nobility and gentry of this methropolis; I take you to my tradesmen, who give you credit. I accept your note for near two hundred pounds, and what do I find? A fraud.

He holds up the name, Roderick James, printed on the linen.

CAPTAIN O'REILLY

Not Master O'Higgins of Watertown, but Roderick James of the devil only knows where...

Captain O'Reilly gathers up the linen clothes, silver toilet articles, and the rest of Roderick's gear.

RODERICK

Hark ye, Mr. O'Reilly, I will tell you why I was obliged to alter my name, which is James and the best name in Ireland. I changed it, sir, because, on the day before I came to Dublin, I killed a man in deadly combat -- an Englishman, sir, and a Captain in His Majesty's service; and if you offer to let or hinder me in the slightest way, the same arm which destroyed him is ready to punish you.

So saying, Roderick draws his sword like lightning, and giving a "ha, ha!" and a stamp with his foot, lunges it within an inch of O'Reilly's heart, who starts back and turns deadly pale, while his wife, with a scream, flings herself between them.

MRS. O'REILLY

Dearest Roderick -- be pacified. O'Reilly, you don't want the poor child's blood. Let him escape -- in Heaven's name, let him go.

CAPTAIN O'REILLY

(sulkily)

He may go hang for me, and he's better be off quickly, for I shall go to the magistrate if I see him again.

O'Reilly exits. His wife sits down on the bed and begins to cry.

EXT. DUBLIN STREET - DAY

Roderick riding down the street, with his valise.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Where was now a home for the descendant of the James? I was expelled from Dublin by a persecution occasioned, I must confess, by my own imprudence. I had no time to wait and choose. No place of refuge to fly to.

INT. ALE HOUSE - DAY

RODERICK (V.O.)

There was a score of recruiting parties in the town beating up for men to join our gallant armies in America and Germany.

Roderick approaches a Captain and a Sergeant, who quickly make him welcome.

RODERICK

I will tell you frankly, sir. I am a young gentleman in difficulties; I have killed an officer in a duel, and I am anxious to get out of the country.

RODERICK (V.O.)

But I needn't have troubled myself with any explanations; King George was in too much want of men to heed from whence they came -- and a fellow of my inches was always welcome. Indeed, I could not have chosen my time better. A transport was lying at Dunleary, waiting for a wind.

EXT. BRITISH WARSHIP AT SEA - DAY

RODERICK (V.O.)

I never had a taste for any thing but genteel company, and hate all descriptions of low life. Hence my account of the society in which I at present found myself must of necessity be short. The reminiscences of the horrid black-hole of a place in which we soldiers were confined, of the wretched creatures with whom I was now forced to keep company, of the plowmen, poachers, pickpockets, who had taken refuge from poverty, or the law, as, in truth, I had done myself, is enough to make me ashamed even now.

Roderick sits very disconsolately over a platter of rancid bacon and moldy biscuit, which is served to him at mess. When it comes to his turn to be helped to drink, he is served, like the rest, with dirty tin noggin, containing somewhat more than half a pint of rum and water. The beaker is so greasy and filthy that he cannot help turning round to the messman and saying:

RODERICK

Fellow, get me a glass!

At which, all the wretches round him burst into a roar of laughter, the very loudest among them being Mr. Toole, a red-haired monster of a man.

MR. TOOLE

Get the gentleman a towel for his hands, and serve him a basin of turtle-soup.

Roars the monster, who is sitting, or rather squatting, on the deck opposite him, and as he speaks, he suddenly seizes Roderick's beaker of grog and empties it in midst of another burst of applause.

LINK-BOY

(whispers)

If you want to vex him, ask him about his wife, the washerwoman, who bates him.

RODERICK

Is it a towel of your wife's washing, Mr. Toole? I'm told she wiped your face often with one.

LINK-BOY

(whispers)

Ask him why he wouldn't see her yesterday, when she came to the ship.

RODERICK (V.O.)

And so I put to him some other foolish jokes about soapsuds, hen-pecking, and flat-irons, which set the man into a fury, and succeeded in raising a quarrel between us.

Roderick and Toole fight with cudgels. Roderick gives him a thump across his head which lays him lifeless on the floor.

RODERICK (V.O.)

This victory over the cock of the vile dunghill obtained me respect among the wretches among whom I formed part.

EXT. MILITARY DRILL FIELD - CUXHAVEN - DAY

RODERICK (V.O.)

Our passage was very favorable, and in two days we landed at Cuxhaven, and before I had been a month in the Electorate, I was transported into a tall and proper young soldier, and, having a natural aptitude for military exercise, was soon as accomplished at the drill as the oldest sergeant in the regiment.

Various cuts.

Roderick learning the soldierly arts, musket drill, manual of arms, bayonet, marching.

EXT. MILITARY COURTYARD - CUXHAVEN - DAY

The Cuxhaven troops are drawn up to receive a new regiment, arrived from England.

Roderick sees, marching at the head of his company, his old friend, Captain Grogan, who gives him a wink.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Six weeks after we arrived in Cuxhaven, we were reinforced by Gales regiment of foot from England, and I promise you the sight of Grogan's face was most welcome to me, for it assured me that a friend was near me.

INT. GROGAN'S QUARTERS - DAY

Roderick and Grogan.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Grogan gave me a wink of recognition, but offered no public token of acquaintance and it was not until two days afterwards that he called me into his quarters, and then, shaking hands with me cordially, gave me news which I wanted, of my family.

CAPTAIN GROGAN

I had news of you in Dublin. Faith, you've begun early, like your father's son, but I think you could not do better than as you have done. But why did you not write home to your poor mother? She has sent half-a-dozen letters to you in Dublin.

RODERICK

I suppose she addressed them to me in my real name, by which I never thought to ask for them at the post office.

CAPTAIN GROGAN

We must write to her today, and you can tell her that you are safe and married to "Brown Bess."

Roderick sighs when Grogan says the word "married," on which Grogan says with a laugh:

CAPTAIN GROGAN

I see you are thinking of a certain young lady at Duganstown.

RODERICK

Is Miss Dugan well?

CAPTAIN GROGAN

There's only six Miss Dugans now... poor Dorothy.

RODERICK

Good heavens! Whatever? Has she died of grief?

CAPTAIN GROGAN

She took on so at your going away that she was obliged to console herself with a husband. She is now Mrs. John Best.

RODERICK

Mrs. John Best! Was there another Mr. John Best?!

CAPTAIN GROGAN

No, the very same one, my boy. He recovered from his wound. The ball you hit him with was not likely to hurt him. It was only made of tow. Do you think the Dugans would let you kill fifteen hundred a-year out of the family? The plan of the duel was all arranged in order to get you out of the way, for the cowardly Englishman could never be brought to marry from fear of you. But hit him you certainly did, Roderick, and with a fine thick plugget of tow, and the fellow was so frightened that he was an hour in coming to. We told your mother the story afterwards, and a pretty scene she made.

RODERICK

The coward!

CAPTAIN GROGAN

He has paid off your uncle's mortgage. He gave Dorothy a coach-and-six. That coward of a fellow has been making of your uncle's family. Faith, the business was well done. Your cousins, Michael and Harry, never let him out of their sight, though he was for deserting to England, until the marriage was completed, and the happy couple off on their road to Dublin. Are you in want of cash, my boy? You may draw upon me, for I got a couple of hundred out of Master Best for my share and, while they last, you shall never want.

EXT. VARIOUS LOCATIONS - BRITISH ON THE MARCH - DAY

Roderick on the march.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Our regiment, which was quartered about Stade and Luneberg, speedily had got orders to march southwards towards the Rhine, where we would fight the famous battle of Minden. It would require a greater philosopher and historian than I am to explain the causes of the famous Seven Years' War in which Europe was engaged, and, indeed, its origin has always appeared to me to be so complicated, and the books written about it so amazingly hard to understand, that I have seldom been much wiser at the end of a chapter than at the beginning, and so shall not trouble you with any personal disquisitions concerning the matter.

Various cuts featuring Roderick; marching, cooking at open fires, gambling, resting in a farm yard, officers riding by; shivering in his blanket.

EXT. BATTLEFIELD OF MINDEN - BATTLE FRAGMENT - DAY

Roderick and his company.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Were these memoirs not characterized by truth, I might easily make myself the hero of some strange and popular adventures.

EXT. MINDEN - BATTLE FRAGMENTS - DAY

Officers ride by in smoke. Troops marching to the attack.

RODERICK (V.O.)

But I saw no one of the higher ranks that day than my colonel and a couple of orderly officers riding by in the smoke -- no one on our side, that is. A poor corporal is not generally invited into the company of commanders and the great.

Roderick advancing.

RODERICK (V.O.)

But, in revenge, I saw, I promise you, some very good company on the French part, for their regiments of Lorraine and Royal Cravate were charging us all day; and in the sort of melee high and low are pretty equally received. I hate bragging, but I cannot help saying that I made a very close acquaintance with the colonel of the Cravates.

Roderick firing his musket. He bayonets a French colonel, amidst shouts and curses.

RODERICK (V.O.)

And finished off a poor little ensign, so young, slender, and small, that a blow from my pigtail would have dispatched him.

Roderick kills a French ensign with a blows from the butt of his musket.

RODERICK (V.O.)

And in the poor ensign's pocket found a purse of fourteen louis d'or, and a silver box of sugar­plums, of which the former present was very agreeable to me.

Roderick taking money and the box of sugar-plums from the ensign.

RODERICK (V.O.)

If people would tell their stories of battles in this simple way, I think the cause of truth would not suffer by it. All I know of this famous fight of Minden, except from books, is told here above.

Captain Grogan is shot, cries out, and falls.

A brother captain turns to Lieutenant Lakenham.

CAPTAIN

Grogan's down; Lakenham, there's your company.

RODERICK (V.O.)

That was all the epitaph my brave patron got.

Roderick kneels above Grogan.

CAPTAIN GROGAN

I should have left you a hundred guineas, Roderick, but for a cursed run of ill-luck last night at faro.

He gives Roderick a faint squeeze of the hand; and, as the word is given to advance, Roderick leaves him.

RODERICK (V.O.)

When we came back to our ground, which we presently did, he was lying still, but he was dead. Some of our people had already torn off his epaulets, and, no doubt, had rifled his purse.

EXT. VARIOUS ROUGH RURAL LOCATIONS - DAY

Short cuts to voice over.

Roderick and British troops rape, pillage and burn.

RODERICK (V.O.)

After the death of my protector, Captain Grogan, I am forced to confess that I fell into the very worst of courses and company. In a foreign country, with the enemy before us, and the people continually under contribution from one side or the other, numberless irregularities were permitted to the troops. It is well for gentlemen to talk of the age of chivalry; but remember the starving brutes whom they lead -- men nursed in poverty, entirely ignorant, made to take pride in deeds of blood -- men who can have no amusement but in drunkenness, debauch, and plunder. It is with these shocking instruments that your great warriors and kings have been doing their murderous work in the world.

EXT. BATTLEFIELD - WARBURG - BATTLE FRAGMENTS - DAY

RODERICK (V.O.)

The year in which George II died, our regiment had the honor to be present at the Battle of Warburg, where Prince Ferdinand once more completely defeated the Frenchmen.

Lieutenant Lakenham is shot, falls, and cries for help.

RODERICK (V.O.)

During the action, my lieutenant, Mr. Lakenham, of Lakenham, was struck by a musket-ball in the side. He had shown no want of courage in this or any other occasion where he had been called upon to act against the French; but this was his first wound, and the young gentleman was exceedingly frightened by it.

LAKENHAM

Here, you, Roderick James. I will pay you five guineas if you will carry me into the town which is hard by those woods.

Roderick and another man take him up in a cloak, and carry him towards the nearby town of Warburg.

EXT. A FARMHOUSE - GERMAN STREET - WARBURG - DAY

In order to get into the house, Roderick and the other man are obliged to fire into the locks with their pieces, which summons brings the inhabitants of the house to the door; a very pretty and black-eyed, young woman, and her old, half-blinded father.



They are at first unwilling to accommodate the guest, but Mr. Lakenham, speaking to them in German, and taking a couple of guineas out of a very full purse, speedily convinces the people that they have only to deal with a person of honor.

INT. WARBURG FARMHOUSE - BEDROOM - DAY

They carry Lieutenant Lakenham to bed and receive their five guineas.

RODERICK (V.O.)

We put the patient to bed, and he paid me the stipulated reward. A young surgeon, who desired nothing better than to take himself out of the fire of the musketry, came presently to dress the wound.

In his German jargon, Roderick pays some deserved compliments to the black-eyed beauty of Warburg, thinking, with no small envy, how comfortable it would be to be billeted there.

EXT. STREET - WARBURG - OUTSIDE THE FARMHOUSE - DAY

He starts back to the regiment, with his comrade, when the man interrupts his reverie by suggesting they divide the five guineas.

PRIVATE

I should get half.

RODERICK

Your share is one guinea. Roderick gives him one guinea.

PRIVATE

He gave you five guineas, and I bloody well expect half.

RODERICK

Go to the devil.

The private lifting his musket, hits Roderick a blow with the butt-end of it, which sends him stunned to the ground, allowing his comrade to take the other four guineas from his pocket.

Recovering his senses, Roderick bleeding, with a large wound in the head, has barely time to stagger back to the house where he had just left the lieutenant, when he falls fainting at the door, just as the surgeon exits.

INT. WARBURG FARMHOUSE - BEDROOM - DAY

Roderick is carried by the surgeon and the black-eyed girl, into another bed in the room where the Lieutenant has been laid.

LAKENHAM

(languidly, in pain)

Who are you putting into that bed?

LISCHEN

We have the Corporal, wounded, to you bringing.

LAKENHAM

A corporal? Turn him out. Schicken sie Herrn Koporal weg!

INT. WARBURG FARMHOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT AND DAY

Lischen brings Roderick a refreshing drink; and, as he takes it, he presses the kind hand that gave it to him; nor does this token of his gratitude seem unwelcome.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I found Lischen the tenderest of nurses. Whenever any delicacy was to be provided for the wounded lieutenant, a share was always sent to the bed opposite his, and to the avaricious man's no small annoyance.

Lischen serving food.

Various cuts, representing different days. Lakenham behaving as rottenly as Roderick describes:

RODERICK (V.O.)

Nor was I the only person in the house to whom the worthy gentleman was uncivil. He ordered the fair Lischen hither and thither, made impertinent love to her, abused her soups, quarreled with her omelettes, and grudged the money which was laid out for his maintenance, so that our hostess detested him as much as, I think, without vanity, as she regarded me.

Roderick making lover to Lischen while Lieutenant Lakenham sulks in the next bed.

RODERICK (V.O.)

For if truth must be told, I had made very deep love to her during my stay under her roof, as is always my way with women, of whatever age or degree of beauty. Do not think me very cruel and heartless, ladies; this heart of Lischen's was like many a town, which had been stormed and occupied several times before I came to invest it,

Roderick sitting up in bed. Lischen has just served him his supper.

Enter a British officer, an aide who carries a notebook, and a surgeon. In a brief scene to be written, we learn that a sudden movement on the part of the French requires the British army to follow them. The town is to be evacuated, except for some Prussian line-of-communication troops, whose surgeons are to visit the wounded in the place; and, when they are well, they are to be drafted to their regiments.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I began to reflect how pleasant my quarters were to me, and that I was much better here than crawling under an odious tent with a parcel of tipsy soldiers, or going the night-rounds, or rising long before daybreak for drill. I determined that I never would join mine again.

EXT. VIEW OUT OF WARBURG FARMHOUSE WINDOW - DAY

Roderick stands by the window, watching English troops and wagons leaving the town.

INT. WARBURG FARMHOUSE - BEDROOM - DAY

Roderick walks into Lakenham's room attired in his full regimentals, and with his hat cocked over his left eye.

RODERICK

I'm promoted Lieutenant. I've come to take my leave of you. I intend to have your papers and purse.

LAKENHAM

You great scoundrel! You mutinous dog! What do you mean by dressing yourself in my regimentals? As sure as my name's Lakenham, when we get back to the regiment, I'll have your soul cut out of your body.

With this, Roderick puts his hand under his pillow, at which Lakenham gives a scream that might have called the whole garrison about his ears.

Roderick threatens him with a knife at his throat.

RODERICK

Hark ye, sir! No more noise, or you are a dead man!

Roderick, taking his handkerchief, binds it tight round his mouth, and, pulling forward the sleeves of his shirt, ties them in a knot together, and so leaves him, removing the papers and the purse, and wishing him politely a good day.

EXT. WARBURG FARMHOUSE - STREET - DAY

Lischen, waiting outside the house, with a saddled horse, throws her arms around him, and makes the tenderest adieu.

Roderick mounts his newly-purchased animal, waves his hat gallantly, and, prances away down the street.

EXT. ROAD - DAY

Roderick happily riding along a wooded country road, rounds a blind bend and sees suddenly before him, about two hundred yards away, a company of Prussian infantry resting along the sides of the road, together with a dozen mounted dragoons.

A quick calculation tells him that is is better to proceed than to turn back, and he rides into their midst, approaching a group of officers.

He presents himself as Lieutenant Lakenham and asks for directions to join his regiment. He is told that he is riding in the wrong direction, and is shown a map.

During the explanation, Captain Galgenstein approaches with an open, smiling countenance, introduces himself, and says he, too, is bound for the same place, and asks if Roderick will honor him with his company.

To avoid suspicion, Roderick readily accepts the offer, and the two men mount up, and ride off together.

EXT. ROAD - GERMANY - DAY

Roderick and Galgenstein riding together.

Dialogue under voice over.

RODERICK (V.O.)

My companion treated me with great civility, and asked me a thousand questions about England, which I answered as best I might. But this best, I am bound to say, was bad enough. I knew nothing about England, and I invented a thousand stories which I told him; described the king and the ministers to him, said the British ambassador in Berlin was my uncle, and promised my acquaintance a letter of recommendation to him.

CAPTAIN GALGENSTEIN

What is your uncle's name?

RODERICK

(slowly)

O'Grady.

CAPTAIN GALGENSTEIN

(with a laugh)

Oh, yes, of course, Ambassador O'Grady...

EXT. DESOLATE GERMAN ROAD - DAY

Roderick and Captain Galgenstein. Their horses' heads together, jogging on.

They pass a party of recruits under the armed guard of a red-coated Hanoverian sergeant.

He exchanges signs of recognition with Captain Galgenstein.

CAPTAIN GALGENSTEIN

It hurts my feelings to be obliged to commune with such wretches, but the stern necessities of war demand men continually, and hence these recruiters whom you see market in human flesh. They get five-and-twenty thaler a man from our government for every man they bring in. For fine men -- for men like you.

(he adds laughing)

They would go as high as hundred.

EXT. DESOLATE GERMAN INN - LATE AFTERNOON

Roderick and Captain Galgenstein approach a very lonely-looking place.

CAPTAIN GALGENSTEIN

This is a very good inn. Shall we stop for dinner?

RODERICK

This may be a very good inn for Germany, but it would not pass in old Ireland. Corbach is only a league off, let us push on for Corbach.

CAPTAIN GALGENSTEIN

Do you want to see the loveliest woman in Europe?

Roderick smiles.

CAPTAIN GALGENSTEIN

Ah! You sly rogue, I see that will influence you.

RODERICK

The place seems more a farm than an inn-yard.

CAPTAIN GALGENSTEIN

The people are great farmers, as well as inn-keepers.

They enter by a great gate into a court, walled round, and at on end of which is the building, a dingy ruinous place.

A couple of covered wagons are in the courtyard; their horses are littered under a shed hard by.

Lounging about the place are some men, and a pair of sergeants in the Prussian uniform, who both touch their hats to the captain.

The inn has something foreboding about it, and the men shut the great yard-gates as soon as they enter.

CAPTAIN GALGENSTEIN

(explaining the gate)

Parties of French horsemen are about the country, and one cannot take too many precautions against such villains.

The two sergeant take charge of the horses; the captain orders one of them to take Roderick's valise to his bedroom.

Roderick promises the sergeant a glass of schnapps for his pains.

They enter into supper.

INT. GERMAN INN - LATE AFTERNOON

A dish of fried eggs and bacon is ordered from a hideous old wench that comes to serve them, in place of the lovely creature which had been expected; and the captain, laughing, says:

CAPTAIN GALGENSTEIN

Well, our meal is a frugal one, but a soldier has many a time a worse.

Taking off his hat, sword-belt, and gloves, with great ceremony, Galgenstein sits down to eat. Roderick puts his weapons securely on the old chest of drawers where the captain's is laid.

The hideous old woman brings in a pot of very sour wine, at which, and at her ugliness, Roderick feels a considerable ill-humor.

RODERICK

(when she leaves)

Where's the beauty you promised me?

CAPTAIN GALGENSTEIN

(laughing and looking hard at Roderick)

It was my joke. I was tired, and did not care to go farther. There's not prettier woman here than that. If she won't suit your fancy, my friend, then you must wait awhile.

This increases Roderick's ill-humor.

RODERICK

(sternly)

Upon my word, sir, I think you have acted very coolly.

CAPTAIN GALGENSTEIN

I have acted as I think fit. Sir, I'm a British officer.

CAPTAIN GALGENSTEIN

It's a lie! You're a deserter! You're an impostor, sir; Your lies and folly have confirmed this to me. You pretend to carry dispatches to a general who has been dead these ten months; you have an uncle who is an ambassador and whose name you don't know. Will you join and take the bounty, sir, or will you be given up?

RODERICK

Neither! Springing at him like a tiger.

But, agile as he is, Galgenstein is equally on his guard. He takes two pistols out of his pockets, fires one off, and says, from the other end of the table where he stands dodging Roderick, as it were.

CAPTAIN GALGENSTEIN

Advance a step, and I send this bullet into your brains!

The door is flung open, and the two sergeants enter, armed with musket and bayonet to aid their captain.

The game is up. Roderick flings down a knife with which he had armed himself, for the old hag, on bringing in the wine, had removed his sword.

RODERICK

I volunteer.

EXT. A ROAD - DAY

Prussian troops on the march. Roderick is now one of them.

Captain Galgenstein rides by.

RODERICK (V.O.)

At the close of the Seven Years' War, the Prussian army, so renowned for its disciplined valor, was officered and under-officered by native Prussians, it is true, but was composed for the most part of men hired or stolen, like myself, from almost every nation in Europe. The deserting to and fro was prodigious.

EXT. A FIELD - DAY

Prussian punishment gauntlet.

RODERICK (V.O.)

The life the private soldier led was a frightful one to any but the men of iron courage and endurance. The punishment was incessant.

EXT. VARIOUS RURAL LOCATIONS - DAY

RODERICK (V.O.)

I was not near so unhappy, in spite of all, as I had been on my first enlisting in Ireland. At least, there will be no one of my acquaintance who will witness my shame, and that is the point which I have always cared for most.

Rape, pillage and burn.

Brief thematic repeat of British army version.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I reasoned with myself thus: "Now you are caught, there is no use in repining -- make the best of your situation, and get all the pleasure you can out of it. There are a thousand opportunities of plunder, offered to the soldier in war time, out of which he can get both pleasure and profit; make use of these, and be happy."

EXT. BATTLEFIELD - FRAGMENT

Prussians against Austrians, or French, or Saxons. Roderick fighting.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I do not intend to make a history of battles in the Prussian any more than in the English service. I did my duty in them as well as another, and there was not a braver, cleverer, handsomer, and, I must own, wickeder soldier in the Prussian army.

EXT. BATTLEFIELD - ACTION - DAY

RODERICK

I had formed myself to the condition of the proper fighting beast; on a day of action, I was savage and happy.

Roderick saves Captain Galgenstein's life.

EXT. FIELD - DAY

Roderick is decorated by Colonel Bulow for his heroism in saving Captain Galgenstein.

Colonel Bulow gives Roderick two Frederic d'or in front of the regiment.

COLONEL BULOW

You are a gallant soldier, and have evidently come of good stock; but you are idle, dissolute, and unprincipled; you have done a deal of harm to the men; and, for all your talents and bravery, I am sure you will come to no good.

RODERICK

I hope Colonel Bulow is mistaken regarding my character. I have fallen into bad company, it is true; but I have only done as other soldiers have done; and, above all, I have never had a kind friend and protector before, to whom I might show that I was worthy of better things. The Colonel may say I am a ruined lad, and send me to the devil; but be sure of this, I would go to the devil to serve the regiment.

Captain Galgenstein looks pleased with Roderick's performance.

BERLIN - 1763

RODERICK (V.O.)

Soon after the war ended, our regiment was garrisoned in the capital, the least dull, perhaps, of all the towns of Prussia; but that does not say much for its gaiety.

INT. ANTE-ROOM - CAPTAIN GALGENSTEIN'S OFFICE - DAY

Roderick enters and approaches the Captain's sergeant.

RODERICK

Private Roderick James. First Hanoverian Guards. Captain Galgenstein sent for me.

PRUSSIAN SERGEANT

You may wait.

RODERICK

Thank you, sir.

Roderick stands stiffly. We can make out the sound of loud talking behind the closed door.

Enter a private huffing and puffing.

PRIVATE

Sergeant, the wagon has arrived with the Captain's furniture, but the driver says he is not supposed to unload it. Is it possible for you to talk to him?

Exit the sergeant, muttering. Roderick, now alone in the office, walks closer to the door so that he can hear what is being said.

MINISTER GALGENSTEIN (O.S.)

Give him his discharge! Bon Dieu! You are a model of probity! You'll never succeed to my place, my dear nephew, if you are no wiser than you are just now. Make the fellow as useful to you as you please. You say he has a good manner and a frank countenance, that he can lie with assurance, and fight, you say, on a pinch. The scoundrel does not want for good qualities. As long as you have the regiment in terrorem over him, you can do as you like with him. Once let him loose, and the lad is likely to give you the slip. Keep on promising him; promise to make him a general, if you like. What the deuce do I care? There are spies enough to be had in this town without him.

Roderick hears the sergeant returning and walks back to the door.

Then the office door opens, Captain Galgenstein looks out, sees Roderick, smiles and say:

CAPTAIN GALGENSTEIN

Good morning, Private James. Please come in. I should like you to meet my uncle, Herr Minister of Police Galgenstein.

RODERICK

How do you do, sir?

The Minister nods.

RODERICK (V.O.)

The captain was the nephew and heir of the Minister of Police, Herr Galgenstein, a relationship which, no doubt, aided in the younger gentlemen's promotion.

CAPTAIN GALGENSTEIN

Your loyalty to me and your service to the regiment has pleased me very well -- and now there is another occasion on which you may make yourself useful to us; if you succeed, depend on it, your reward will be your discharge from the army, and a bounty of 100 guineas.

RODERICK

What is the service, sir?

CAPTAIN GALGENSTEIN

There is lately come to Berlin a gentleman in the service of the Empress Queen, who calls himself the Chevalier de Belle Fast, and wears the red riband and star of the pope's order of the Spur. He is made for good society, polished, obliging, a libertine, without prejudices, fond of women, of good food, of high play, prudent and discreet.

The Captain smiles at Roderick.

CAPTAIN GALGENSTEIN

He speaks Italian and French indifferently; but we have some reason to fancy this Monsieur de Belle Fast is a native of your country of Ireland, and that he has come here as a spy.

The Captain rises and begins to pace back and forth.

CAPTAIN GALGENSTEIN

Naturally, your knowledge of English makes you an ideal choice to go into his service. Of course, you will not know a word of English; and if the Chevalier asks as to the particularity of your accent, say you are Hungarian. The servant who came with him will be turned away today, and the person to whom he has applied for a faithful fellow will recommend you.

Roderick nods.

CAPTAIN GALGENSTEIN

You are a Hungarian; you served in the army, and left on account of weakness in the loins. He gambles a great deal, and wins. Do you know the cards well?

RODERICK

Only a very little, as soldiers do.

CAPTAIN GALGENSTEIN

I had thought you more expert. You must find out if the Chevalier cheats. He sees the English and Austrian envoys continually, and the young men of either ministry sup repeatedly at his house. Find out what they talk of, for how much each plays, especially if any of them play on parole. If you are able to, read his private letters, though about those which go to the post, you need not trouble yourself -- we look at them there. But never see him write a note without finding out to whom it goes, and by what channel or messenger. He sleeps with the keys of his dispatch-box with a string around his neck -- twenty frederics, if you get an impression of the keys.

MINISTER GALGENSTEIN

Does this assignment interest you?

RODERICK

Yes, Minister, I am interested in any work in which I can be of service to Captain Galgenstein.

The Minister studies Roderick, coldly.

EXT. CHEVALIER DE BELLE FAST'S HOUSE - BERLIN - DAY

Roderick, now dressed in civilian clothes, admires a beautiful carriage, waiting at the door. Then he enters.

INT. CHEVALIER DE BELLE FAST'S APARTMENT - DAY

CHEVALIER

You are the young man who M. de Seebach recommended?

RODERICK

Yes, sir. Here is my letter.

Roderick bows, and hands him a letter from that gentleman, with which the Captain had taken care to provide him.

As the Chevalier reads the letter, Roderick has the leisure to examine him.

He is a man of sixty years of age, dressed superbly, wearing rings, diamonds and laces.

One of his eyes is closed with a black patch, and he wears a little white and red paint, and a pair of moustachios, which fall over his lip.

The Chevalier is seated at a table near the window to read the letter.

CHEVALIER

Your name is Lazlo Zilagyi?

RODERICK

Yes, sir.

CHEVALIER

You come highly recommended by Herr Seebach.

RODERICK

Herr Seebach was a very kind employer.

CHEVALIER

For whom else have you worked?

RODERICK

No one, sir. Before that I served in the army but had to leave due to weakness of the loins.

CHEVALIER

Who else can give me information about you?

RODERICK

Only the agency of servants.

The Chevalier puts the letter down, looks at Roderick for a few seconds, and then smiles.

CHEVALIER

You will do. I will give you 30... a day. I do not provide your clothing; you will sleep at home, and you will be at my orders every morning at seven o'clock.

He notices Roderick begin to tremble and look peculiar.

CHEVALIER

Is there something wrong? He goes up to Roderick.

RODERICK (V.O.)

It was very imprudent of me; but when I saw the splendor of his appearance, the nobleness of his manner, I felt it impossible to keep disguise with him. You, who have never been out of your country know little what it is to hear a friendly voice in captivity; and there's a many a man that will understand the cause of the burst of feeling which was about to take place.

The Chevalier takes Roderick by the shoulder.

RODERICK

(as he speaks, bursting into tears)

Sir, I have a confession to make. I am an Irishman, and my name is Roderick James. I was abducted into the Prussian army two years ago, and now I have been put into your service by my Captain and his uncle, the Minister of Police, to serve as a watch upon your actions, of which I am to give information to the same quarter. For this odious service, I have been promised my discharge, and a hundred guineas.

Sobbing, Roderick falls into his arms.

CHEVALIER

The rascals! They think to catch me, do they? Why, young man, my chief conspiracy is a faro-bank. But the king is so jealous, that he will see a spy in every person who comes to his miserable capital, in the great sandy desert here.

EXT. BERLIN - PARK - DAY

Roderick and the Chevalier walking.

RODERICK (V.O.)

And I think he was as much affected as I was at thus finding one of his kindred; for he, too, was an exile from home, and a friendly voice, a look, brought the old country back to his memory again, and the old days of his boyhood.

CHEVALIER

I'd give five years of my life to see the old country again, the greenfields, and the river, and the old round tower, and the burying place.

EXT. BERLIN - STREET - DAY

Roderick and the Chevalier walking.

CHEVALIER

My lad, I have been in every service; and, between ourselves, owe money in every capital in Europe. I have been a rolling stone. Play -­play has been my ruin! That and beauty. The women have made a fool of me, my dear boy. I am a soft­hearted creature, and this minute, at sixty-two, have no more command of myself than when Peggy O'Dwyer made a fool of me at sixteen.

EXT. BERLIN - LAKE WANNSEE - DAY

Roderick and the Chevalier walking along the bank.

CHEVALIER

The cards are now my only livelihood. Sometimes I am in luck, and then I lay out my money in these trinkets you see. It's property, look you, and the only way I have found of keeping a little about me. When the luck goes against me, why, my dear, my diamonds go to the pawnbrokers and I wear paste. Do you understand the cards?

RODERICK

I can play as soldiers do, but have no great skill.

CHEVALIER

We will practice in the mornings, my boy, and I'll put you up to a thing or two worth knowing.

INT. CHEVALIER'S ROOMS - BERLIN - DAY

Quick cuts -- Roderick being taught the profession of cards and the dice-box.

EXT. GARDEN HOUSE - BERLIN - DAY

Roderick, Minister Galgenstein, and Captain Galgenstein.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I carried my little reports to Captain Galgenstein at the Garden house outside the town where he gave me rendezvous. These reports, of course, were arranged between me and the Chevalier beforehand. I was instructed, and it is always the best way, to tell as much truth as my story would possible bear. Dialogue comes up from under voice over.

RODERICK

He goes to church regularly -- he is very religious, and after hearing mass comes home to breakfast. Then he takes an airing in his chariot till dinner, which is served at noon. After dinner, he writes his letters, if he has any letters to write; but he has very little to do in this way. His letters are to the Austrian envoy, with whom he corresponds, but who does not acknowledge him; and being written in English, or course, I look over his shoulder. He generally writes for money. He makes his party with Calsabigi, the lottery contractor, the Russian attaches, two from the English embassy, my lords Deuceace and Punter, who play a jeu d'enfer, and a few more. He wins often, but not always. Lord Deuceace is a very fine player. The Chevalier Elliott, the English Minister, sometimes comes, on which occasion the secretaries do not play.

INT. CHEVALIER'S APARTMENTS - NIGHT

The Chevalier is at play against several gentlemen, including the Prince of Turbingen, while Roderick signals the cards.

RODERICK (V.O.)

It was agreed that I should keep my character of valet, that in the presence of strangers I should not know a word of English, that I should keep good lookout on the trumps when I was serving the champagne and punch about; and, having a remarkably fine eyesight, and a great natural aptitude, I was speedily able to give my dear benefactor much assistance against his opponents at the green table.

Several cuts of playing and cheating to illustrate voice over.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Simplicity was our secret. Everything successful is simple. If, for instance, I wiped the dust off a chair with my napkin, it was to show that the enemy was strong in diamonds; if I pushed it, he had an ace, king; if I said, "Punch or wine, my lord?" hearts was meant. If "Wine or punch?" clubs. If I blew my nose, it was to indicate that there was another confederate employed by the adversary; and then, I warrant you, some pretty trials of skill would take place. The Prince of Turbingen, although so young, had a very great skill and cleverness with the cards in every way; and it was only from hearing Ritter von Brandenburg, who came with him, yawn three times when the Chevalier had the ace of trumps, that I knew we were Greek to Greek, as it were.

The Prince loses a big hand, and, in a fury, throws down his cards. He stares at the table, then at the Chevalier.

PRINCE

Chevalier, though I cannot say how, I believe you have cheated me.

CHEVALIER

I deny your Grace's accusations, and beg you to say how you have been cheated?

PRINCE

(glaring at Roderick)

I don't know.

CHEVALIER

Your Grace owes me seventy thousand frederics, which I have honorably won.

PRINCE

Chevalier, if you will have your money now, you must fight for it. If you will be patient, maybe I will pay you something another time.

CHEVALIER

Your Grace, if I am so tame as to take this, then I must give up an honorable and lucrative occupation.

PRINCE

I have said all there is to be said. I am at your disposal for whatever purposes you wish. Good night.

He exits.

EXT. GARDEN HOUSE - DAY

Roderick, Captain Galgenstein and Minister Galgenstein.

MINISTER GALGENSTEIN

Was he cheated?

RODERICK

In so far as I can tell these things -- no. I believe the Chevalier won the money fairly.

MINISTER GALGENSTEIN

Hmm-mmmm.

CAPTAIN GALGENSTEIN

What are the Chevalier's intentions?

RODERICK

I am not sure. The Prince told him quite clearly that if he wished to have the money, he would have to fight for it.

MINISTER GALGENSTEIN

A meeting with the Prince of Turbingen is impossible.

RODERICK

The Prince left him only that choice.

The Captain and the Minister walk a few steps away and speak in whispers.

Then they return to Roderick.

MINISTER GALGENSTEIN

Will you be able to return here tomorrow without arousing suspicion?

INT. CHEVALIER'S APARTMENTS - DAY

CHEVALIER

Tell them I intend to demand satisfaction from the Prince.

RODERICK

But they will prevent a meeting at whatever the cost.

CHEVALIER

Have no fear. It will come out well for me.

RODERICK

I believe they will deport you.

CHEVALIER

I have faced that problem before.

RODERICK

But, if they send you away, then what is to become of me?

CHEVALIER

(with a smile)

Make your mind easy, you shall not be left behind, I warrant you. Do take a last look at your barracks, make your mind easy, say a farewell to your friends in Berlin. The dear souls, how they will weep when they hear you are out of the country, and, out of it, you shall go.

RODERICK

But how, sir?

EXT. GARDEN HOUSE - BERLIN - DAY

Roderick, Captain Galgenstein and Minister Galgenstein.

MINISTER GALGENSTEIN

The King has determined to send the Chevalier out of the country.

RODERICK

When is he to go?

CAPTAIN GALGENSTEIN

Has he sent the challenge yet?

RODERICK

Not yet, but I believe he intends to.

MINISTER GALGENSTEIN

Then this must be done tomorrow.

RODERICK

What is to be done?

CAPTAIN GALGENSTEIN

You say he drives after breakfast and before dinner. When he comes out to his carriage a couple of gendarmes will mount the box, and the coachman will get his orders to move on.

RODERICK

And his baggage?

CAPTAIN GALGENSTEIN

Oh! That will be sent after him. I have a fancy to look into that red box which contains his papers, you say; and at noon, after parade, shall be at the inn. You will not say a word to any one there regarding the affair, and will wait for me at the Chevalier's rooms until my arrival. We must force that box. You are a clumsy hound, or you would have got the key long ago.

EXT. CHEVALIER'S APARTMENTS - DAY

Action as per voice over.

RODERICK (V.O.)

At ten o'clock the next morning, the carriage of the Chevalier de Belle Fast drew up as usual at the door of his hotel, and the Chevalier came down the stairs in his usual stately manner.

Looking around and not finding his servant to open the door.

CHEVALIER

Where is my rascal, Lazlo?

PRUSSIAN OFFICER

(standing by the carriage)

I will let down the steps for your honor.

No sooner does the Chevalier enter than the officer jumps in after him, another mounts the box by the coachman, and the latter begins to drive.

CHEVALIER

Good gracious! What is this?

PRUSSIAN OFFICER

(touching his hat)

You are going to drive to the frontier.

CHEVALIER

It is shameful -- infamous! I insist upon being put down at the Austrian ambassador's house.

PRUSSIAN OFFICER

I have orders to gag your honor if you cry out, and to give you this purse containing ten thousand frederics if you do not.

CHEVALIER

Ten thousand? But the scoundrel owes me seventy thousand.

PRUSSIAN OFFICER

Your honor must lower his voice.

CHEVALIER

(whispering)

All Europe shall hear of this!

PRUSSIAN OFFICER

As you please.

Both lapse into silence.

EXT. ROAD - DAY

The coach drives by. Suddenly -- "boom," the alarm cannon begins to roar.

INT. COACH - DAY

PRUSSIAN OFFICER

Do not be alarmed. The alarm cannon only signals a deserter.

Chevalier nods.

EXT. ROAD - DAY

The coach drives by and action as described.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Hearing the sound of the alarm cannon, the common people came out along the road, with fowling-pieces and pitch-forks, in hopes to catch the truant. The gendarmes looked very anxious to be on the lookout for him too. The price of a deserter was fifty crowns to those who brought him in.

EXT. SAXON CUSTOM-HOUSE - DAY

The black and white barriers came in view at last hard by Bruck, and opposite them the green and yellow of Saxony. The Saxon custom-house officers came out.

CHEVALIER

I have no luggage.

PRUSSIAN OFFICER

The gentleman has nothing contraband.

The Prussian officers, grinning, hand the Chevalier the purse and take their leave of their prisoner with much respect.

The Chevalier de Belle Fast gives them three frederic a­piece.

CHEVALIER

Gentlemen, I wish you a good day. Will you please go to the house from whence we set out this morning, and tell my man there to send my baggage on to Three Kings at Dresden?

RODERICK (V.O.)

Then ordering fresh horses, the Chevalier set off on his journey for that capital. I need not tell you that I was the Chevalier.

INT. ROOM - HOTEL DES TROIS COURONNES - DAY

Roderick reading a letter over his breakfast in bed.

CHEVALIER (V.O.)

From the Chevalier de Belle Fast to Roderick James, Esquire, Gentilhomme Anglais. At the Hotel des trois Couronnes, Dresden, Saxe. My dear Roderick -- This comes to you by a sure hand, no other than Mr. Lumpit, of the English mission, who is acquainted, as all Berlin will be directly, with our wonderful story. They only know half as yet; they only know that a deserter went off in my clothes, and all are in admiration of your cleverness and valor.

INT. CHEVALIER'S ROOM - DAY

Action as per description in letter.

CHEVALIER (V.O.)

As I lay in my bed two and a half hours after your departure, in comes your ex-captain, Galgenstein.

CAPTAIN GALGENSTEIN

(in his imperious Dutch manner)

Roderick! Are you there? No answer.

CAPTAIN GALGENSTEIN

The rogue is gone out.

Action as per voice over.

CHEVALIER (V.O.)

Straightaway he makes for the red box where I keep my love letters, my glass eye which I used to wear, my two sets of Paris teeth, and my other private matters that you know of. He first tries a bunch of keys, but none of them fit the English lock. Then he takes out of his pocket a chisel and hammer, and falls to work like a professional burglar, actually bursting open the little box! Now was my time to act! I advance towards him armed with an immense water-jug. I come noiselessly up to him just as he has broken the box, and, with all my might, I deal him such a blow over the head as smashes the water-jug to bits, and sends the captain with a snort lifeless to the ground. Then I ring all the bells in the house; and shout, and swear, and scream, "Thieves! -- Thieves! -- Landlord! -- Murder! -- Fire!" until the whole household comes tumbling up the stairs.

CHEVALIER

Where is my servant? Who dares to rob me in open day? Look at the villain whom I find in the act of breaking my chest open! Send for the police, send for his Excellency the Austrian Minister! All Europe shall know of this insult!

LANDLORD

Dear heaven! We saw you go away three hours ago.

CHEVALIER

Me! Why, man, I have been in bed all morning. I am ill -- I have taken physic -- I have not left the house this morning! Where is that scoundrel, Lazlo? But, stop! Where are my clothes and wig?

CHAMBERMAID

I have it -- I have it! Lazlo is off in your honor's dress.

CHEVALIER

And my money -- my money! Where is my purse with forty-eight frederics in it? But we have one of the villains left, Officers, seize him.

LANDLORD

(more and more astonished)

It's the young Herr Galgenstein.

CHEVALIER

What! A gentleman breaking open my trunk with hammer and chisel -­impossible!

CHEVALIER (V.O.)

Herr Galgenstein was returning to life by this time, with a swelling on his skull as big as a saucepan; and the officers carried him off, and, to make a long story short, poor Galgenstein is now on his way to Spandau; and his uncle, the Minister of Police Galgenstein, has brought me five hundred louis, with a humble request that I would leave Berlin forthwith, and hush up this painful matter.

INT. GERMAN PALACE - BALLROOM - NIGHT

Roderick, the Chevalier and the Duke of Wurttemberg.

RODERICK (V.O.)

The Chevalier de Belle Fast was in particularly good order with the Duke of Wurttemberg, whose court was, at this period, the most brilliant in all Europe.

The Duke of Wurttemberg chatting with ballet dancers, who will perform at the party.

RODERICK (V.O.)

He spent fabulous sums on the ballets and operas. All the ballerinas were pretty, and they all boasted that they had all at least once made their amorous sovereign happy.

Roderick and the Chevalier kissing hands, hobnobbing with the nobility, and dancing minuets.

RODERICK (V.O.)

There was not a party of the nobility to which the two Irish gentlemen were not invited, and admired, nor where we did not make the brave, the high-born and the beautiful talk to us. There was no man in Europe more gay in spirits, more splendid in personal accomplishment, than young Roderick James.

EXT. GERMAN STREET - DAWN

Roderick and the Chevalier in a comfortable coach, on their way home to bed, pass troops marching out on early parade.

INT. COACH - DAWN

Roderick sinks back into the comfortable cushion and yawns.

RODERICK (V.O.)

What a delightful life did we now lead! I knew I was born a gentleman, from the kindly way in which I took to the business, as business certainly it is.

INT. BEDROOM - GERMANY - DAY

Roderick in a tub, being washed by a servant.

RODERICK (V.O.)

For though it seems all pleasure, yet I assure any low-bred persons who may chance to read this, that we, their betters, have to work as well as they; though I did not rise until noon, yet had I not been up at play until long past midnight?

INT. ANOTHER BEDROOM - GERMANY - DAY

His hair being done.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I came into it at once, and as if I had never done anything else all my life. I had a gentleman to wait upon me, a French friseur to dress my hair of a morning.

INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT

A candle-lit supper.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I knew the taste of chocolate as by intuition almost, and could distinguish between the right Spanish and the French before I had been a week in my new position.

INSERTS - JEWELRY

Action and cuts as voice over.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I had rings on my fingers, watches in both my fobs, trinkets, and snuff-boxes, of all sorts, and each outvying the other in elegance.

INT. RECEPTION ROOM - GERMANY - DAY

As described.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I had the finest natural taste for lace and china of any man I ever knew.

EXT. STABLES - GERMANY - DAY

Buying horses.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I could judge a horse as well as any dealer in Germany. I could not spell, but I could speak German and French cleverly.

INT. DRESSING ROOM - GERMANY - DAY

Roderick being fitted for clothes.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I had at least twelve suits of clothes; three richly embroidered with gold, two laced with silver; one of French grey, silver-laced and lined with chinchilla. I had damask morning robes, to which a peacock's tail is as sober as a Quaker's drab skirt.

INT. ORANGERY - DAY

Action as voice over.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I took lessons on the guitar, and sang French catches exquisitely. Where, in fact, was there a more accomplished gentleman than Roderick James?

INT. GAMING ROOM - GERMANY - NIGHT

Action as per voice over.

RODERICK (V.O.)

How have we had the best blood, and the brightest eyes, too, of Europe throbbing round the table as I and the Chevalier have held the cards and the bank against some terrible player, who was matching some thousands out of his millions against our all which was there on the baize!

INT. GAMING ROOM - GERMANY - NIGHT

Roderick dealing a faro bank.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Our principles were: play grandly, honorably. Be not, of course, cast down at losing; but, above all, be not eager at winning, as mean souls are.

INT. GAMING ROOM - GERMANY - NIGHT

Action as voice over.

RODERICK (V.O.)

When the Duke of Courland brought fourteen lackeys each with bags of florins, and challenged our bank to play against the sealed bags, what did we ask?

CHEVALIER

Sir, we have but eighty thousand florins in bank, or two hundred thousand at three months; if your highness' bags do not contain more than eight thousand, we will meet you.

Playing.

RODERICK (V.O.)

And we did, and after eleven hours play, in which our bank was at one time reduced to two hundred and three ducats, we won seventeen thousand florins off him.

Four crowned heads look on at the game, and an imperial princess, when Roderick turns up the ace of hearts, bursts into tears.

INT. MASQUERADE BALL - NIGHT

Roderick and a girl.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Nor need I mention my successes among the fairer portion of the creation. One of the most accomplished, the tallest, the most athletic, and the handsomest gentleman in Europe, as I was then, a young fellow of my figure could not fail of having advantages, which a person of my spirit knew very well how to us.

INT. BOUDOIR - NIGHT

Making love to a masked lady.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Charming Schuvaloff.

INT. COACH - NIGHT

RODERICK (V.O.)

Black-eyed Sczortarska.

INT. BOUDOIR - NIGHT

RODERICK (V.O.)

Dark Valdez.

RODERICK

Do you expect me to believe that your lover brought you here tonight?

VALDEZ

Yes. He brought me in his carriage, and he will call for me at midnight.

RODERICK

And he doesn't care about me?

VALDEZ

He is only curious to know who you are.

RODERICK

If his love were like mine, he would not permit you to come here.

VALDEZ

He loves me, as I love you.

RODERICK

Will he wish to know the details of this night?

VALDEZ

He will believe that it will please me if he asks about it, and I shall tell him everything except some circumstances which might humiliate him.

EXT. GARDEN - NIGHT

RODERICK (V.O.)

Tender Hegenheim.

INT. BOUDOIR - NIGHT

RODERICK (V.O.)

Brilliant Langeac.

Roderick takes from his portfolio a little jacket of very fine transparent skin, eight inches long and closed at one end, and which by way of a pouch string at its open end, has a narrow pink ribbon.

He displays it to her, she looks at it, and laughs.

LANGEAC

I will put in on you myself.

She puts it on, out of shot.

LANGEAC

There you are, dressed by my hand. It is nearly the same thing; but despite the fineness and transparency of the skin, the little fellow pleases me less well in costume. It seems that this covering degrades him, or degrades me -- one of the other.

RODERICK

Both, my angel. It was Love who invented these little jackets: for he had to ally himself with Precaution.

INT. ROOM OFF A BALLROOM - NIGHT

Roderick making love to the Countess von Trotha. Enter the Count, in the uniform of a Colonel.

COUNT

I entered here, monsieur, at a bad moment for you; it seems that you love this lady.

RODERICK

Certainly, monseigneur, does not Your Excellency consider her worthy of love?

COUNT

Perfectly so; and what is more, I will tell you that I love her, and that I am not of a humor to put up with rivals.

RODERICK

Very well! Now that I know it, I will no longer love her.

COUNT

Then you yield to me.

RODERICK

On the instant. Everyone must yield to such a nobleman as you.

COUNT

Very well; but a man who yields takes to his legs.

RODERICK

That is a trifle strong.

COUNT

Take to your legs, low Irish dog. Roderick smiles at him.

RODERICK

Your Excellency has wantonly insulted me. That being so, I conclude that you hate me, Monseigneur, and that hence you would be glad to remove me from the number of the living. In this wish, I can and will satisfy Your Excellency.

EXT. BEAUTIFUL GARDEN - EARLY MORNING

Roderick's sword duel with the Count. Details to be worked out. INT. BILLIARD ROOM - NIGHT

Roderick watches the Chevalier play with a Prussian officer, Lieutenant Dascher.

RODERICK (V.O.)

It was my unrivaled skill with sword and pistol, and readiness to use them, that maintained the reputation of the firm.

Towards the end of the game, Dascher, seeing that he is losing, makes an unfair stroke, so obvious that the marker tells him so to his face.

Lieutenant Dascher, for whom the stroke wins the game, takes the money which is in the stake bag, and puts it in his pocket, paying no attention to the marker's adjurations, or to Roderick's.

Roderick, who is without his sword, reaches for a billiard cue and swings it at Dascher's face.

He wards off the blow with his arm, drawing his sword and runs at Roderick, who is unarmed.

The marker, a sturdy young man, catches Dascher around the waist and prevents murder.

DASCHER

I see that you are without your sword, but I believe you are a man of mettle. Will you give me satisfaction?

RODERICK

I shall be delighted; but you have lost and you must pay me the money before we meet, for, after all, you cannot pay me when you are dead.

ANOTHER OFFICER

I will undertake to pay you the 2 0 louis, but only tomorrow morning at the meeting.

EXT. FIELD - DAY

On the field, there are six people waiting with Dascher, and his seconds. Dascher takes 20 louis from his pocket and hands them to Roderick, saying:

DASCHER

I may have been mistaken, but I mean to make you pay deadly for your brutality.

Roderick takes the money and puts it in his purse with the utmost calm, making no reply to the other's boasting.

RODERICK

(privately)

It is distasteful to kill a scoundrel -- that should be work for a hangman.

CHEVALIER

To risk one's life against such people is an imposition.

RODERICK

(laughs)

I risk nothing, for I am certain to kill him.

CHEVALIER

Certain?

RODERICK

Perfectly certain, because I shall make him tremble.

He takes his station between two trees, about four paces apart, and draws a pair of dueling pistols.

RODERICK

You have only to pace yourself at ten paces difference, and fire first. The space between these two trees is the place where I choose to walk back and forth. You may walk too, if you wish, when it is my turn to fire.

No one could have explained his intentions more clearly or spoken more calmly.

DASCHER

But we must decide who is to have the first shot.

RODERICK

There is no need of that. I never fire first; and, in any case, you have that right.

Dascher places himself at the specified distance.

Roderick walks slowly back and forth between the two trees without looking at him.

Dascher takes aim and fires, missing.

RODERICK

(with the greatest composure)

You missed me, sir. I was sure you would. Try again.

The others think he is mad, and had expected some kind of discussion between the parties, but not a bit of it.

Dascher takes careful aim and fires a second shot, again missing Roderick.

Without a word, but in a firm and confident manner, Roderick fires his first shot into the air.

Dascher looks amazed. Then, aiming at Dascher with his second pistol, he hits him in the center of the forehead and stretches him out dead on the ground.

EXT. ROAD - DAY

Roderick and Chevalier traveling in their coach.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Thus is will be seen that our life, for all its splendor was one of extreme difficulty and danger, requiring high talents and courage for success, and sudden and unexpected departures.

They meet a four-wheel carriage, drawn by two horses, carrying a master and a servant.

The driver of the four-wheel carriage wants Roderick's driver to make way for him.

Roderick's driver protests that if he does, he will upset his master in the ditch, but the other insists.

Roderick addresses the master, a handsome young man, and asks him to order his driver to make way for him.

RODERICK

I am posting, monsieur, and furthermore I am a foreigner.

STRANGER

Monsieur, here in Saxony, the post has no special right, and if you are a foreigner, you must admit that you have no greater claim than mine, since I am in my own country.

At that, Roderick gets out and holding his drawn-sword tells the stranger to get out, or to make way for him.

The stranger replies, with a smile, that he has no sword and that, in any case, he will not fight for such a silly reason.

He tells Roderick to get back in his chaise, and he makes way for him.

INT. GAMING ROOM - NIGHT

Roderick and the Chevalier running a faro bank when an important lady suffers a huge loss.

RODERICK (V.O.)

The ladies were passionately fond of play, and hence would often arise no small trouble to us; for the truth most be told, that the ladies loved to play, but not to pay. The point of honor is not understood by the charming sex; and it was with the greatest difficulty that we could keep them from the table, could get their money if they lost or, if they paid, prevent them from using the most furious and extraordinary means of revenge.

EXT. ROAD - DAWN

RODERICK (V.O.)

On this evening, the lady of high rank, after I had won a considerable sum in diamonds and pearls from her, sent her lover with a band of cut­throats to waylay me.

Roderick and the Chevalier are sound asleep in their carriage when they are awakened by a violent jolt, upon which the carriage overturns in the middle of the road.

The Chevalier is underneath, and screams from the pain in his right arm, which he thinks is broken.

Their servant forces the door open to help them out, telling them that the two postilions have fled.

Roderick easily gets out of the carriage through the door, which is above him, but the Chevalier, unable to move because of his disabled arm, has to be pulled out.

His piercing shrieks make Roderick laugh, because of the strange oaths with which he interlards his prayers.

From the carriage, Roderick takes his dueling pistols, and sword.

Roderick tells his servant to mount and to looking for armed peasants in the vicinity; money in hand, he leaves.

The Chevalier has lain down on the hard ground, groaning and in no condition to resist robbers.

Roderick makes his own preparations to sell his fortune and his life at the highest price.

His carriage is close to the ditch, and he unhitches the horses, tieing them to the wheels and the pole in a circle, and stations himself behind them with weapons.

In this predicament, Roderick cannot help laughing at the poor Chevalier, who is writhing like a dying dolphin on a seashore, and uttering the most pitiful execrations, when a mare, whose back was turned to him, take it into her empty head to empty her bladder on him. There is nothing to be done; he has to put up with the whole stinking rain, and to forgive Roderick's laughter, which he has not the strength to hold in.

The chill wind and the silence are suddenly broken by an attack, which is half-hearted and uncertain, by the lady's lover, and his hesitant band of six cut-throats.

Some falter and run away as soon as Roderick fires his pistol.

The leader and two heartier followers engage Roderick. During the fight, they mortally wound the helpless Chevalier and two of them are killed.

After they flee, Roderick kneels by the Chevalier, who utters some appropriate last words, then dies.

His servant finally arrives at full gallop, shouting at the top of his voice, and followed by a band of peasants, each with his lantern, come to his rescue. There are ten or twelve of them, all armed with muskets, and all ready to obey his orders.

EXT. SPA-HOTEL - DAY

Roderick's carriage arrives.

RODERICK (V.O.)

After making suitable arrangements for the Chevalier's burial, in proper accord with his church, I traveled to Spa, which was now in season, alone, to continue my profession which formerly had the support of my friend and mentor.

INT. GAMING ROOM - NIGHT

Crowds surround Roderick.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I was by this time one of the best-known characters in Europe; and the fame of my exploits, my duels, my courage at play, would bring crowds round me in any public society where I appeared.

INT. CASINO - NIGHT

Attractive women alone, while men are at the gaming table.

RODERICK (V.O.)

The passion for play is stronger than the passion for gallantry; the gamester at Spa has neither time to stop to consider the merits of a woman, nor the courage to make sacrifices for her.

EXT. GARDEN IN SPA - DAY

The Countess of Cosgrove walks beside her husband, Sir William Cosgrove, who is in a wheelchair. They are accompanied by their young son, Lord Brookside, and two servants.

RODERICK (V.O.)

In evoking the recollections of these days, I have nothing but pleasure. I would if I could say as much of a lady who will henceforth play a considerable part in the drama of my life -- I mean the Countess of Cosgrove, whose fatal acquaintance I made at Spa, very soon after the tragic events which caused me to quit Germany.

Closer shot of the Countess.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Victoria, Countess of Cosgrove. A Countess and a Viscountess in her own right.

Closer shot of Sir William Cosgrove.

RODERICK (V.O.)

She was the wife of her cousin, the Right Honorable Sir William Reginald Cosgrove, Knight of the Bath, and Minister to George II and George III of several of the smaller courts of Europe.

Closer shot of young Lord Brookside, walking behind them in the care of his governor.

RODERICK (V.O.)

She was the mother to Viscount Brookside -- a melancholy, deserted, little boy, about whom his father was more than indifferent, and whom his mother never saw.

INT. GAMING ROOM - NIGHT

Shots of Sir William Cosgrove being wheeled in, and at play with Roderick, and some other gentlemen.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I made Sir William Cosgrove's acquaintance as usual at the play-table. One could not but admire the spirit and gallantry with which he pursued his favorite pastime; for, though worn out with gout and a myriad of diseases, a cripple wheeled about in a chair, and suffering pangs of agony, yet you would see him every morning, and every evening at his post behind the delightful green cloth.

SIR WILLIAM

Hang it, Mr. Roderick James, you have no more manners than a barber, and I think my black footman has been better educated than you; but you are a young fellow of originality and pluck, and I like you, sir. because you seem determined to go to the devil by a way of your own.

Laughter at the table.

RODERICK

I am obliged to observe, Sir William Cosgrove, that since you are bound for the next world much sooner than I am, I will depend on you to get comfortable quarters arranged for me.

Laughter.

SIR WILLIAM

Indeed, you are right, sir. Look at me. Marriage has added forty years to my life. I am dying, a worn-out cripple, at the age of fifty. When I took off Lady Cosgrove, there was no man of my years who looked so young as myself. Fool that I was! I had enough with my pensions, perfect freedom, the best society in Europe -- and I gave up all these, and married and was miserable. Take a warning from me, Mr. Roderick, and stick to the trumps. Do anything, but marry.

RODERICK

Would you have me spend my life all alone?

SIR WILLIAM

In truth, sir, yes, but, if you must marry, then marry a virtuous drudge.

RODERICK

(laughing)

The milkmaid's daughter?

SIR WILLIAM

Well, why not a milkmaid's daughter? No man of sense need restrict himself or deny himself a single amusement for his wife's sake; on the contrary, if he selects the animal properly, he will choose such a one as shall be no bar to his pleasure, but a comfort in his hours of annoyance. For instance, I have got the gout; who tends me? A hired valet who robs me whenever he has the power. My wife never comes near me. What friend have I? None in the wide world. Men of the world, as you and I are, don't make friends, and we are fools for our pains.

Polite laughter at the table.

SIR WILLIAM

My lady is a weak woman, but she is my mistress. She is a fool, but she has got the better of one of the best heads in Christendom. She is enormously rich, but somehow I have never been so poor, as since I married her. I thought to better myself, and she has made me miserable and killed me, and she will do as much for my successor when I'm gone.

There is a reflective silence at the table.

RODERICK

Has her ladyship a very large income?

This question causes Sir William to burst out into a yelling laugh, joined by the rest of the table, and makes Roderick blush not a little at his gaucherie.

EXT. ORNAMENTAL GARDEN - SPA - NIGHT

A beautiful scene, lit by the flambeaux, held by a dozen footmen. A small orchestra, playing in a Temple of Love, some dancers, people gambling and lounging along a line of trees.

Roderick approaches the Countess.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Despite my friend's strong warning. I resolves to become acquainted with his lady. Sir William Cosgrove was dying. His widow would be a rich prize. Why should I not win her, and, with her, the means of making in the world that figure which my genius and inclination desired? When I determine, I look upon the thing as done.

RODERICK

Charming lady, tell me the truth and earn my gratitude. Have you a lover?

The countess laughs.

COUNTESS

No.

RODERICK

Have you had one?

COUNTESS

Never.

RODERICK

But, for a time... a passing fancy?

COUNTESS

Not even that.

RODERICK

How can I believe that there is not a man who has inspired desires in you?

COUNTESS

Not one.

RODERICK

Have you not a man whom you value?

COUNTESS

That man has, perhaps, not yet been born.

RODERICK

What! You have not met a man worthy of your attention?

COUNTESS

Many worthy of attention; but valuing is something more. I could value only someone whom I loved.

RODERICK

Then you have never loved? Your heart is empty.

COUNTESS

Your word "empty" makes me laugh. Is it fortunate, or unfortunate? If it is fortunate, I congratulate myself. If it is unfortunate, I do not care, for I am not aware of it.

RODERICK

It is nonetheless a misfortune, and you will know it when you love.

COUNTESS

But if, when I love, I am unhappy, I will know that my empty heart was my good fortune.

RODERICK

That is true, but it seems to me impossible that you should be unhappy in love.

COUNTESS

It is only too possible. Love requires a mutual harmony which is difficult, and it is even more difficult to make it last.

RODERICK

I agree; but God put us on earth to take that risk.

COUNTESS

A man may need to do that, and find it amusing; but a girl is bound by other laws.

RODERICK

I believe you, and I see I must hasten to leave, for otherwise I shall become the unhappiest of men.

COUNTESS

How so?

RODERICK

By loving you, with no hope of possessing you.

She laughs.

COUNTESS

You want my heart?

RODERICK

It is my only object.

COUNTESS

To make me wretched in two weeks.

RODERICK

To love you until death. To subscribe to all your commands.

COUNTESS

The amusing thing is that you deceive me without knowing, if it is true that you love me.

RODERICK

Deceiving someone without knowing it is something new for me. If I do not know it, I am innocent.

COUNTESS

But you deceive me nonetheless if I believe you, for it will not be in your power to love me when you love me no longer.

Roderick laughs and kisses her.

COUNTESS

Be so good as to tell me with whom you think you are?

RODERICK

With a woman who is completely charming, be she a princess or a woman of the lowest condition, and who, regardless of her rank, will show me some kindness, tonight.

She laughs.

COUNTESS

And if she does not choose to show you some kindness?

RODERICK

Then I will respectfully take leave of her.

COUNTESS

You will do as you please. It seems to me that such a matter can hardly be discussed until after people know each other. Do you not agree?

RODERICK

Yes -- but I am afraid of being deceived.

COUNTESS

Poor man. And, for that reason, you want to begin where people end?

RODERICK

I ask only a payment on account today -- after that, you will find me undemanding, obedient and discreet.

She laughs. He kisses her again. They exit.

EXT. ROAD - SPA - NIGHT

Coach and four moves slowly along.

INT. COACH - NIGHT

They kiss. She gently struggles as he tries to undo her dress. He stops.

RODERICK

Will we always leave it at this?

COUNTESS

Always, my dear one, never any further. Love is a child to be pacified with trifles. A full diet can only kill it.

RODERICK

I know better than you do. Love wants a more substantial fare, and if it is stubbornly withheld, it withers away.

COUNTESS

Our abstinence makes our love immortal. If I loved you a quarter of an hour ago, now I should love you even more. But I should love you less if you exhausted my joy by satisfying all my desires.

RODERICK

Let us give each other complete happiness, and let us be sure that as many times as we satisfy our desires, they will each time be born anew.

COUNTESS

My husband has convinced me of the contrary.

RODERICK

Sir William Cosgrove is a man who is dying, and yet I envy him more than any man in Christendom. He enjoys a privilege of which I am deprived. He may take you in his arms whenever he pleases, and no veil keeps his senses, his eyes, his soul from enjoying your beauty.

She silences him with her fingertips.

COUNTESS

Shall I tell you something -- I believed what was called love came after the union -- and I was surprised when my husband, making me a woman, made me know it only by pain, unaccompanied by any pleasure. I saw that my imaginings had stood me in better stead. And so we became only friends, seldom sleeping together and arousing no curiosity in each other, yet on good terms for a while, as whenever he wanted me, I was at his service, but since the offering was not seasoned with love, he found it tasteless, and seldom demanded it.

RODERICK

O, my dearest love. Enough! I beg you. Stop believing in your experience. You have never known love. My very soul is leaving me! Catch it on your lips, and give me yours!

They kiss ardently.

RODERICK (V.O.)

To make a long story short, her ladyship and I were in love six hours after we met; and after I once got into her ladyship's good graces, I found innumerable occasions to improve my intimacy, and was scarcely ever out of her company.

EXT. COUNTESS' HOUSE - SPA - DUSK

Action as per voice over.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I shall never forget the astonishment of Sir William Cosgrove when, on one summer evening, as he was issuing out to the play-table, in his sedan-chair, her ladyship's barouche and four came driving into the courtyard of the house which they inhabited and, in that carriage, by her ladyship's side, sat no other than "the vulgar Irish adventurer," as she was pleased to call me.

Sir William makes the most courtly of bows and grins, and waves his hat in as graceful a manner as his multiplicity of illness permits, and her ladyship and Roderick reply to the salutation with the utmost politeness and elegance on their part.

INT. RODERICK'S APARTMENT - SPA - NIGHT

Making ardent love.

COUNTESS

Without you, my dearest, I might have died without ever knowing love. Inexpressible love! God of nature! Bitterness than which nothing is sweeter, sweetness than which nothing is more bitter. Divine monster which can only be defined by paradoxes.

RODERICK

Let me give a thousand kisses to that heavenly mouth which has told me that I am happy.

COUNTESS

As soon as I saw you loved me, I was pleased, and I gave you every opportunity to fall more in love with me, being certain that, for my part, I would never love you. But after our first kiss, I found that I had no power over myself. I did not know that one kiss could matter so much.

RODERICK (V.O.)

We then spent an hour in the most eloquent silence except that, from time to time, her ladyship cried out: "Oh, my God. Is it true -- I am not dreaming?"

INT. GAMING ROOM - NIGHT

Roderick enters and approaches a table at which Sir William Cosgrove, who is drunk, is at play with several other jovial fellows.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Sir William Cosgrove, with his complication of ills, was dying before us by inches. He was continually tinkered up by doctors, and, what with my usual luck, he might be restored to health and live I don't know how many years. If Cosgrove would not die, where was the use of my pursing his lady? But my fears were to prove groundless, for on that very night, patient nature would claim her account.

SIR WILLIAM

Good evening, Mr. James, have you done with my lady?

RODERICK

I beg your pardon?

SIR WILLIAM

Come, come, sir. I am a man who would rather be known as a cuckold than a fool.

RODERICK

I think, Sir William Cosgrove, you have had too much drink. Your chaplin, Mr. Hunt, has introduced me into the company of your lady to advise me on a religious matter, of which she is a considerable expert.

Sir William Cosgrove greets this line with a yell of laughter. His laugh is not jovial or agreeable, but rather painful and sardonic, and ends in a violent fit of coughing.

SIR WILLIAM

Gentlemen, see this amiable youth! He has been troubled by religious scruples, and has flown for refuge to my chaplin, Mr. Hunt, who has asked for advise from my wife, Lady Cosgrove, and between them both, they are confirming my ingenious young friend in his faith. Did you ever hear of such doctors and such a disciple?

RODERICK

Faith, sir, if I want to learn good principles, it's surely better I should apply for them to your lady, and your chaplin than to you?

SIR WILLIAM

(laughing, but pretty red)

He wants to step into my shoes! He wants to step into my shoes!

Roderick stares at him coldly.

RODERICK

Well, if my intentions are what you think they are -- if I do wish to step into your shoes, what then? I have no other intentions than you had yourself. Lady Cosgrove's wealth may be great, but am I not of a generous nature enough to use it worthily? Her rank is lofty, but not so lofty as my ambition. I will be sworn to muster just as much regard for my Lady Cosgrove as you ever showed her; and if I win her, and wear her when you are dead and gone, corbleu, knight, do you think that it will be the fear of your ghost will deter me?

SIR WILLIAM

Is it not a pleasure, gentlemen, for me, as I am drawing near the goal, to find my home such a happy one; my wife so fond of me, that she is even now thinking of appointing a successor? Isn't it a comfort to see her; like a prudent housewife, getting everything ready for her husband's departure?

RODERICK

I hope that you are not thinking of leaving us soon, knight?

SIR WILLIAM

Not so soon, my dear, as you may fancy perhaps. Why, man, I have been given over many times these four years, and there was always a candidate or two waiting to apply for the situation. Who knows how long I may keep you waiting.

RODERICK

Sir, let those laugh that win.

SIR WILLIAM

I am sorry for you Mr. James. I'm grieved to keep you or any gentleman waiting. Had you not better to arrange with my doctor or get the cook to flavor my omelette with arsenic? What are the odds, gentlemen, that I don't live to see Mr. James hang yet?

There is laughter around the table, and Sir William starts dealing the cards.

VOICE

Dies at Spa, in the Kingdom of Belgium, the Right Honorable Sir William Cosgrove, Knight of the Bath, Member of Parliament for Cosgrove and Devonshire and many years His Majesty's representative at various European courts. He hath left behind him a name which is endeared to all his friends for his manifold virtues and talents, a reputation justly acquired in the service of His Majesty, and an inconsolable widow to deplore his loss.

Sir Williams keels over dead.

INT. CHURCH - DAY

The wedding of Roderick and the Countess. The service is preformed by Reverend Hunt, her ladyship's chaplain.

RODERICK (V.O.)

A year from that day, on the fifteenth of May, in the year 1773, I had the honor and happiness to lead to the altar Victoria, Countess of Cosgrove, widow of the late Right Honorable Sir William Cosgrove, K.B. I had procured His Majesty's gracious permission to add the name of my lovely lady to my own, and, henceforward, assumed the title of James Cosgrove.

EXT. A GARDEN - LONDON - DAY

The Wedding reception.

Roderick and the Countess are approached by young Lord Brookside, aged 12.

COUNTESS

My Lord Brookside, come and embrace your papa!

Brookside walks slowly towards them, and shakes his fist in Roderick's face.

BROOKSIDE

He, my father! I would as soon call one of your ladyship's footmen, papa!

Roderick laughs, as the Countess unsuccessfully tries to get the boy to shake hands.

COUNTESS

Lord Brookside, you have offended your father.

BROOKSIDE

Mother, you have offended my father.

RODERICK (V.O.)

It was a declaration of war to me, as I saw at once; though I declare I was willing enough to have lived with him on terms of friendliness. But as men serve me, I serve them. Who can blame me for my after-quarrels with this young reprobate, or lay upon my shoulders the evils which afterwards befell?

EXT. ROAD - DAY

Three carriages, each with four horses, proceed along the picturesque track.

RODERICK (V.O.)

After we had received the congratulations of our friends in London -- I and Victoria set off to visit our country estate, Castle Hackton, where I had never as yet set foot.

INT. CARRIAGE - DAY

Roderick and his Lady.

RODERICK (V.O.)

The first days of a marriage are commonly very trying; and I have known couples, who lived together like turtle-doves for the rest of their lives, peck each other's eyes out almost during the honeymoon. I did not escape the common lot. In our journey westwards, my Lady Cosgrove chose to quarrel with me because I had pulled out a pipe of tobacco. Lady Cosgrove was a haughty woman, and I hate pride, and I promise you that, in this instant, I overcame this vice in her.

Roderick blows smoke into the Countess' face. She is shocked into an apprehensive silence.

INT. COACH - DAY

Young Lord Brookside with his governor, glowering and petulant. A parrot, in a cage, on his lap.

EXT. ROAD - DAY

As the carriages drive past, there is a band, floral arches, flags, church bells ringing. The parson and the farmers assemble in their best by the roadside, and the school-children and the laboring people are loud in their "hurrahs" for her ladyship.

Roderick flings pennies among the cheering tenants, from two bags of coppers, stored in the carriage for the occasion.

EXT. CASTLE HACKTON - DAY

Fifty, or so, servants have turned out to greet their mistress, and their new master. The land steward, who is the senior servant, introduces the others -- the clerk of the kitchen, clerk of the stables, head gardener, ladies in waiting, butler, valet, chef, cook.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I had not arrived at the pitch of prosperity, and having, at thirty years of age, by my own merits and energy, raised myself to one of the highest social positions that any man in England could occupy, I determined to enjoy myself as becomes a man of quality for the remainder of my life.

INT. STABLES - DAY

Roderick and his beautiful horses.

EXT. A STREAM - DAY

Roderick and some companions fishing.

EXT. FIELDS - DAY

Roderick and his friends riding.

EXT. FIELDS - DAY

Roderick and friends shooting.

INT. CASTLE HACKTON - DAY

Roderick having his portrait painted by a miniaturist.

RODERICK (V.O.)

But it was not meant for me to finish my life as a man of quality and position. Indeed, I am one of those born clever enough at gaining a fortune, but incapable of keeping one; for the qualities and energy, which lead a man to accept the first, are often the very causes of his ruin in the latter case; indeed, I know of no other reason for the misfortunes which finally befell me.

INT. CASTLE HACKTON - COUNTESS' BEDROOM - DAY

RODERICK (V.O.)

At the end of the year, Lady Cosgrove presented me with a son; Patrick Cosgrove, I called him, in compliment to my royal ancestry, but what more had I to leave him than a noble name?

EXT. COSGROVE HOUSE - LONDON - DAY

Two coaches pull up, and the Countess and Roderick exit. Servants remove their luggage and baby Patrick.

RODERICK (V.O.)

We spent the season in London at our house in Berkeley Square.

INT. COSGROVE HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT

The Countess alone and depressed.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Her ladyship and I lived, for a while, pretty separate when in London. She preferred quiet, or, to say the truth, I preferred it, being a great friend to a modest, tranquil behavior in woman and a taste for the domestic pleasures.

INT. COSGROVE HOUSE - LONDON - DAY

Several cuts of the Countess, caring for the infant, Patrick.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Besides, she was a mother, and had great comfort in the dressing, educating, and dandling of our little Patrick for whose sake it was fit that she should give up the pleasures and frivolities of the world; so she left that part of the duty of every family of distinction to be performed by me.

INT. THEATER LOBBY - NIGHT

Roderick arriving with a party of friends, escorting a beautiful woman.

INT. COSGROVE HOUSE - LONDON - DAY

Countess crying and having an argument with Roderick. Live dialogue under voice over.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Her ladyship's conversations with me were characterized by a stupid despair, or a silly blundering attempt at forced cheerfulness, still more disagreeable; hence, our intercourse was but trifling, and my temptations to carry her into the world or to remain in her society of necessity exceedingly small.

INT. COSGROVE HOUSE - DRAWING ROOM - LONDON - NIGHT

A drunken Roderick rudely demands his lady to entertain their guests. She rushes from the room in tears. Dialogue starts scene, goes under for voice over, then ends scene.

RODERICK (V.O.)

She would try my temper, at home, too, in a thousand ways. When requested by me to entertain the company with conversation, wit, and learning, of which she was a mistress; or music, of which she was an accomplished performer, she would, as often as not, begin to cry, and leave the room. My company from this, of course, fancied I was a tyrant over her; whereas, I was only a severe and careful guardian of a silly, bad-tempered and weak-minded lady.

EXT. PARK - DAY

Roderick strolling arm-in-arm with his Countess.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Despite the utter distaste with which I now regarded Lady Cosgrove, and, although I took no particular pains to disguise my feelings in general, yet she was of such a mean spirit that she pursued me with her regard, and would kindle up at the smallest kind word I spoke to her.

INT. COSGROVE STUDY - DAY

Roderick and accountant. Her ladyship is signing various documents, and orders for payment.

RODERICK (V.O.)

And, in these fits of love, she was the most easy creature in the world to be persuaded, and would have signed away her whole property, had it been possible. And, I must confess, it was with very little attention on my part that I could bring her into good humor, and, up to the very last day of our being together, would be reconciled to me, and fondle me, if I addressed her a single kind word. Such is female inconsistency.

INT. COSGROVE HOUSE - DAY

Roderick and the Countess fighting about her refusal to sign some papers. Live dialogue under voice over.

RODERICK (V.O.)

She was luckily very fond of her youngest son, and through him I had a wholesome and effectual hold on her; for if in any of her tantrums or fits of haughtiness, she pretended to have the upper-hand, to assert her authority against mine, to refuse to sign such papers as I might think necessary for the distribution of our large and complicated property.

Roderick picks up baby Patrick.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I would have Master Patrick carried off to Chiswick for a couple of days; and I warrant me his lady-mother could hold out no longer and would agree to anything I proposed.

The Countess rushes to the window to see the child being put into a carriage.

INT. COSGROVE HOUSE - DAY

Another quarrel.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Lady Cosgrove and I did not quarrel more than fashionable people do, and, for the first three years, I never struck my wife but when I was in liquor.

INT. COSGROVE HOUSE - DAY

Roderick throws a knife at young Brookside. The knife digs into an expensive antique chest, just missing the young Brookside's head.

RODERICK (V.O.)

When I flung the carving-knife at Brookside, I was drunk, as everybody present can testify, but as for having any systematic scheme against the poor lad, I can declare solemnly that, beyond merely hating him, I am guilty of no evil towards him.

INT. COSGROVE HOUSE - DAY

The Countess discovers Roderick making love to the child's nurse.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Do what one would to please her, my lady would never be happy or in good humor. And soon she added a mean, detestable jealousy to all her other faults, and would weep and wring her hands, and threaten to commit suicide, and I know not what.

She screams and shouts something about suicide.

Her son, Brookside, comes running in and consoles her.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Her death would have been no comfort to me, as I leave any person of common prudence to imagine; for that scoundrel of a young Brookside who was about to become my greatest plague and annoyance, would have inherited every penny of the property.

INT. COSGROVE HOUSE - LONDON - RODERICK'S STUDY - DAY

Roderick, bored and distracted, sits before a stack of bills and papers, with his accountant.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Humble people envy us great men, and fancy that our lives are all pleasure. But the troubles of poverty, the rascality of agents, the quibbles of lawyers are endless. My life at this period seemed to consist of nothing but drafts of letters and money-brokers relative to the raising of money, and the insuring of Lady Cosgrove's life, and innumerable correspondence with upholsterers, decorators, cooks, horsekeepers, bailiffs, and stewards.

EXT. CASTLE HACKTON - GARDENS - DAY

Various cuts.

Birthday fete for Patrick who is now five years old.

Gaily colored tents, ponies, a puppet show, expensive presents.

RODERICK (V.O.)

My own dear boy, Patrick, was now five years old, and was the most polite and engaging child ever seen; it was a pleasure to treat him with kindness and distinction; the little fellow was the pink of fashion, beauty, and good breeding. In fact, he could not have been otherwise, with the care both his parents bestowed upon him, and the attentions which were lavished upon him in every way.

Brookside and Roderick.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Whereas, young Brookside had grown to be a very nasty and disrespectful fellow indeed. In my company, he preserved the most rigid silence, and a haughty, scornful demeanor, which was so much the more disagreeable because there was nothing in his behavior I could actually take hold of to find fault with, although his whole conduct was insolent and supercilious to the highest degree.

INT. CASTLE HACKTON - LIBRARY - DAY

Brookside sitting alone reading a book.

RODERICK (V.O.)

In addition to this, the lad was fond of spending the chief part of his time occupied with the musty old books, which he took out of the library, and which I hate to see a young man of spirit pouring over.

INT. CASTLE HACKTON - DAY

Brookside and the Countess.

RODERICK (V.O.)

The insubordination of that boy was dreadful. He used to quote passages of "Hamlet" to his mother, which made her very angry.

Brookside quoting "Hamlet."

The Countess begins to cry and leaves the room.

INT. CASTLE HACKTON - RODERICK'S STUDY

Roderick caning young Brookside.

RODERICK (V.O.)

As it is best to nip vice in the bud, and for a master of a family to exercise his authority in such a manner as that there may be no question about it, I took every opportunity of coming to close quarters with Master Brookside.

INT. CASTLE HACKTON - DINING ROOM - NIGHT

Many guests around the table.

RODERICK (V.O.)

He always chose the days when company, or the clergy, or gentry of the neighborhood were present, to make violent, sarcastic, and insolent speeches.

Brookside begins to fondle and caress Patrick.

BROOKSIDE

Dear child, what a pity it is I am not dead for your sake! The Cosgroves would then have a worthy representative, and enjoy all the benefits of the illustrious blood of the James' of Duganstown, would they not, Mr. James Cosgrove?

INT. RODERICK'S STUDY - NIGHT

Roderick caning Brookside again. The boy bears the punishment without crying.

EXT. CASTLE HACKTON - DAY

Roderick's reunion with his mother.

Present are the Countess, Patrick, Lord Brookside and others.

Mrs. James flings herself into her son's arms with a scream, and with transports of joy, which can only be comprehended by women who have held, in their arms, an only child, after a twelve-year absence from him.

INT. CASTLE HACKTON - DAY

Roderick and mother feeding Patrick.

EXT. CASTLE HACKTON - GARDEN - DAY

Roderick and mother playing with Patrick in the garden.

INT. CASTLE HACKTON - DINING ROOM - NIGHT

Mother at dinner with the family, in a strained atmosphere.

INT. PATRICK'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Roderick and his mother talk in whispers near the bed of the sleeping Patrick.

MOTHER

Ah, Roderick, it's a blessing to see that my darling boy has attained a position I always knew was his due, and for which I pinched myself to educate him. Little Patrick is a darling boy, and you live in great splendor, but how long will it last? Your lady-wife knows she has a treasure she couldn't have had, had she taken a duke to marry her, but if, one day, she should tire of my wild Roderick and his old-fashioned Irish ways, or if she should die, what future would there be for my son and grandson?

INT. RODERICK'S STUDY - CASTLE HACKTON - NIGHT

Roderick and his mother.

MOTHER

You have not a penny of your own, and cannot transact any business without the Countess' signature. Upon her death, the entire estate would go to young Brookside, who bears you little affection. You could be penniless tomorrow, and darling Patrick at the mercy of his stepbrother.

INT. MOTHER'S ROOM - CASTLE HACKTON - NIGHT

Roderick and his mother.

MOTHER

I shall tell you a secret -- I shall not rest until I see you Earl of Duganstown, and my grandson, a Lord Viscount.

She smooths down Roderick's hair.

MOTHER

This head would become a coronet.

EXT. CASTLE HACKTON - GARDEN - DAY

Roderick and Mother slowly walking and talking. Young Patrick, ahead of them sitting in a small cart, pulled by a lamb.

MOTHER

These things entail considerable expense, and you will need your lady's blessing, but the young boy forms the great bond of union between you and her ladyship, and there is no plan of ambition you could propose in which she would not join for the poor lad's benefit, and no expense she will not eagerly incur, if it might be any means be shown to tend to his advancement. You have important friends, and they can tell you how these things are done.

INT. LONDON GAMING ROOM - NIGHT

Standing away from the play tables, Roderick chats with Lord West, a fat giant of a man.

RODERICK (V.O.)

And, to be sure, I did know someone who knew precisely how these things were done, and this was the distinguished solicitor and former Government Minister, Lord West, whose acquaintance I made, as I had so many others, at the gaming table.

LORD WEST

Do you happen to know Gustavus Adolphus, the thirteenth Earl of Crabs?

RODERICK

By name only.

LORD WEST

Well, sir, this nobleman is one of the gentlemen of His Majesty's closet, and one with whom our revered monarch is on terms of considerable intimacy. I should say you would be wise to fix upon this nobleman your chief reliance for the advancement of your claim to the Viscounty which you propose to get.

INT. LONDON CLUB - DAY

Roderick having lunch with Lord West and the Earl of Crabs.

RODERICK (V.O.)

And for a five-hundred guinea fee, paid to his City law-firm, Lord West kindly arranged a meeting with that old scamp and swindler, Gustavus Adolphus, the thirteenth Earl of Crabs.

EARL OF CRABS

Mr. Cosgrove, when I take up a person, he or she is safe. There is no question about them any more. My friends are the best people. I don't mean the most virtuous, or, indeed, the least virtuous, or the cleverest, or the stupidest, or the richest, or the best born, but the "best" -- in a word, people about whom there is no question. I cannot promise you how long it will take. You can appreciate it is not an easy matter. But any gentlemen with an estate, and ten-thousand a-year should have a peerage.

INT. DRAWING ROOM - EARL OF CRABS - DAY

Roderick being introduced to three noblemen, including the Duke of Rutland.

RODERICK (V.O.)

The striving after this peerage, I consider to have been one of the most unlucky dealings at this period. I made unheard of sacrifices to bring it about. I can tell you bribes were administered, and in high places too -- so near the royal person of His Majesty that you would be astonished were I to mention what great personages condescended to receive our loans.

INT. DRAWING ROOM - NIGHT

Roderick gives a beautiful diamond to a fat princess on her birthday. He is applauded by the other guests.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I lavished money here, and diamonds there.

EXT. FARMLAND - DAY

Roderick and the seller, riding over a prospective property. A broker shows them a survey map of the property.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I bought lands at ten times there value.

INT. SALON - LONDON - NIGHT

A musical evening.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I gave repeated entertainments to those friends to my claims who, being about the royal person, were likely to advance it.

INT. STATELY HOME - DAY

Roderick buying pictures.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I purchased pictures and articles of vertu at ruinous prices.

EXT. RACES - DAY

Roderick laughing and paying a bet.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I lost many a bet to the royal dukes, His Majesty's brothers.

EXT. FIELD - DAY

Reviewing the company of troops.

Roderick, the Earl of Crabs, the Countess, Patrick and Brookside, several princes and noblemen and the Duke of Rutland.

RODERICK (V.O.)

One of the main causes of expense which this ambition of mine entailed upon me was the fitting out and arming of a company of infantry from the Hackton estates, which I offered to my gracious sovereign for the campaign against the American rebels. These troops, superbly equipped and clothed, were embarked at Portsmouth in the year 1778.

INT. ST. JAMES - RECEPTION ROOM - DAY

George III meeting people and stopping to talk to Roderick. Present also is the Duke of Rutland.

RODERICK (V.O.)

And the patriotism of the gentlemen who raised them was so acceptable at court that, on being presented by my Lord Crabs, His Majesty condescended to notice me particularly and said:

GEORGE III

That's right, Mr. Cosgrove, raise another company, and go with them, too!

INT. COFFEE HOUSE - NIGHT

RODERICK (V.O.)

Crabs was really one of the most entertaining fellows in the world, and I took a sincere pleasure in his company, besides the interest and desire I had in cultivating the society of the most important personages of the realm.

Roderick clumsily tries to engage in conversation with the famed Dr. Johnson, on the subject of a book or play, of the day, and is rebuffed for his trouble.

JOHNSON

If I were you, Mr. Cosgrove, I should mind my horses and tailors and not trouble myself about letters.

Laughter, Roderick bristles.

RODERICK

Dr. Johnson, I think you misbehave most grossly, treating my opinions with no more respect than those of a schoolboy. You fancy, sir, you know a great deal more than me, because you quote your "Aristotle" and "Plato," but can you tell me which horse will win at Epsom Downs next week? Can you shoot the ace of spades ten times without missing? If so, talk about Aristotle and Plato with me.

BOSWELL

(roars)

Do you know who you're speaking to?!

JOHNSON

Hold your tongue, Mr. Boswell, I had no right to brag of my Greek, gentlemen, and he has answered me very well.

RODERICK

(pleased)

Do you know ever a rhyme for Aristotle?

GOLDSMITH

(laughing)

Port, if you please.

JOHNSON

Waiter, bring on of Captain James' rhymes for Aristotle.

RODERICK (V.O.)

And we had six rhymes for Aristotle before we left the coffee house that evening.

INT. LONDON CLUB - NIGHT

EARL OF CRABS

Henri, this is Mr. James Cosgrove, who wishes to arrange a dinner party next week for sixty guests.

HENRI

I am at your service, Mr. Cosgrove. How much do you wish to spend?

RODERICK

As much as possible.

HENRI

As much as possible?

RODERICK

Yes, for I wish to entertain splendidly.

HENRI

All the same, you must name an amount.

RODERICK

It is entirely up to you. I want the best.

EARL OF CRABS

May I suggest five hundred guineas?

RODERICK

Will that be enough?

HENRI

Last month, the Duke of Suffolk spent no more.

RODERICK

All right, five hundred guineas.

INT. CASTLE HACKTON - RODERICK'S STUDY - DAY

Roderick is seated at a large table, stacked high with bills and letters; his accountant is seated next to him, aided by a bookkeeper. Roderick looks at each bill and his accountant explains the charge.

RODERICK (V.O.)

The life I was leading was that of a happy man, but I was not happy.

INT. CASTLE HACKTON - LONG GALLERY - DAY

Roderick, walking with big strides, leads Brookside by his ear. Little Patrick runs alongside, pleading for his brother.

PATRICK

Papa, please don't flog Brookside today. It wasn't his fault -­really is wasn't.

Roderick ignores him.

RODERICK (V.O.)

By now, young Brookside was of so wild, savage, and insubordinate a nature that I never had the least regard for him. As he grew up to be a man, his hatred for me assumed an intensity quite wicked to think of and which, I promise you, I returned with interest.

He drags Brookside into his study, slamming the door behind him.

INT. LIBRARY - DAY

Roderick alone. Brookside enters with a pistol.

BROOKSIDE

(grinding his teeth)

Look you now, Mister Roderick James, from this moment on, I will submit to no further chastisement from you! Do you understand that?

RODERICK

Give me that pistol.

BROOKSIDE

Take heed, Mister James. I will shoot you if you lay hands on me now, or ever again. Is that entirely clear to you, sir?

Roderick stares hard at him, then he laughs and sits down.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I decided, at once, to give up that necessary part of his education. In truth, he then became the most violent, daring, disobedient, scapegrace, that ever caused an affectionate parent pain; he was certainly the most incorrigible.

INT. CASTLE HACKTON - BROOKSIDE'S ROOM - DAY

Brookside smashing a chair over the head of his governor, Reverend Hunt.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Twice or thrice, Reverend Hunt attempted to punish my Lord Brookside; but I promise you the rogue was too strong for him, and leveled the Oxford man to the ground with a chair, greatly to the delight of little Patrick, who cried out: "Bravo, Brooksy! Thump him, thump him!"

EXT. CASTLE HACKTON - GARDEN - DAY

Brookside and Patrick.

RODERICK (V.O.)

With the child, Brookside was, strange to say, pretty tractable. He took a liking to the little fellow -- I like him the more, he said, because he was "half a Cosgrove."

INT. CASTLE HACKTON - BALLROOM - NIGHT

RODERICK (V.O.)

Another day, it was Patrick's birthday, we were giving a grand ball and gala at Hackton, and it was time for my Patrick to make his appearance among us.

There is a great crowding and tittering as the child comes in, led by his half-brother, who walks into the dancing-room in his stockinged feet, leading little Patrick by the hand, paddling about in the great shoes of the older.

BROOKSIDE

(very loudly)

Don't you think he fits my shoes very well, Sir Richard Wargrave?

Upon which, the company begins to look at each other and to titter, and his mother comes up to Lord Brookside with great dignity, seizes the child to her breast, and says:

COUNTESS

From the manner in which I love this child, my lord, you ought to know how I would have loved his elder brother, had he proved worthy of any mother's affection.

Brookside is stunned by his mother's words.

BROOKSIDE

Madam, I have borne as long as mortal could endure the ill-treatment of the insolent Irish upstart, whom you have taken into your bed. It is not only the lowness of his birth, and the general brutality of his manners which disgusts me, but the shameful nature of his conduct towards your ladyship, his brutal and ungentlemanlike behavior, his open infidelity, his habits of extravagance, intoxication, his shameless robberies and swindling of my property and yours. It is these insults to you which shock and annoy me more than the ruffian's infamous conduct to myself. I would have stood by your ladyship, as I promised, but you seem to have taken latterly your husband's part; and, as I cannot personally chastise this low-bred ruffian, who, to our shame be it spoken, is the husband of my mother, and as I cannot bear to witness his treatment of you, and loathe his horrible society as if it were the plague, I am determined to quit my native country, at least during his detested life, or during my own.

Bursting into tears, Lady Cosgrove leaves the room. Roderick loses control, and rushes at Brookside, knocking down Lords, Dukes and Generals, left and right, who try to interfere.

The company is scandalizes by the entire incident.

INT. LONDON CLUB - NIGHT

Action as per voice over. Roderick is shunned.

RODERICK (V.O.)

If I had murdered my lord, I could scarcely have been received with more shameful obloquy and slander than now followed me in town and country. My friends fell away from me, and a legend arose of my cruelty to my stepson.

INT. ST. JAMES - DAY

RODERICK (V.O.)

My reception at court was scarcely more cordial. On paying my respects to my sovereign at St. James, His Majesty pointedly asked me when I had news of Lord Brookside. On which I replied, with no ordinary presence of mind:

RODERICK

Sire, my Lord Brookside has set sail to fight the rebels against Your Majesty's crown in America. Does Your Majesty desire that I should send another company to aid him?

The King stares at Roderick, turns on his heel and quickly leaves the presence-chamber.

Roderick is approached by the Duke of Rutland, who takes him aside into an alcove.

DUKE OF RUTLAND

(speaking very quietly)

Let me tell you, sir, that your conduct has been very odiously represented to the King, and has formed the subject of royal comment. The King has said, influenced by these representations, that you are the most disreputable man in the three kingdoms, and a dishonor to your name and country.

Roderick begins to sputter.

DUKE OF RUTLAND

Hear me out, please. It has been intimated to His Majesty that you had raised the American Company for the sole purpose of getting the young Viscount to command it, and so get rid of him. And, further, that you had paid the very man in the company, who was ordered to dispatch him in the first general action.

RODERICK

Thus it is that my loyalty is rewarded, and my sacrifices in favor of my country viewed!

DUKE OF RUTLAND

As for your ambitious hopes regarding the Irish peerages, His Majesty has also let it be known that you have been led astray by that Lord Crabs, who likes to take money, but who has no more influence to get a coronet than to procure a Pope's tiara. And, if you have it in mind to call upon Lord Crabs, you will be disappointed. He left for the continent on Tuesday, and may be away for several months.

INT. LORD WEST'S OFFICE - DAY

Roderick and Lord West.

RODERICK

I insist upon being allowed to appear before His Majesty and clear myself of the imputations against me, to point out my services to the government, and to ask when the reward, that had been promised me, the title held by my ancestors, is again to be revived in my person.

There is a sleepy coolness in the fat Lord West. He hears Roderick with half-shut eyes. When he finishes his violent speech, which he has made striding about the room, Lord West opens one eye, smiles, and says:

LORD WEST

(gently)

Have you done, Mr. Cosgrove?

RODERICK

Yes!

LORD WEST

Well, Mr. Cosgrove, I'll answer you point by point. The King is exceedingly averse to make peers, as you know. Your claim, as you call them, have been laid before him, and His Majesty's gracious reply was, that you were the most impudent man in his dominions, and merited a halter, rather than a coronet. As for withdrawing your support from us, you are perfectly welcome to carry yourself whithersoever you please. And, now, as I have a great deal of occupation, perhaps you will do me the favor to retire, or tell me if there is anything else in the world in which I can oblige you.

So saying, Lord West raises his hand lazily to the bell, and bows Roderick out.

INT. CASTLE HACKTON - RODERICK'S STUDY - DAY

Roderick and his accountant going over the bills which he has heaped on the table.

RODERICK (V.O.)

The news of His Majesty's disregard were not long in getting around, and, in a very short time, all the bills came down upon me together -­all the bills I had been contracting for the years of my marriage. I won't cite their amount; it was frightful. I was bound up in an inextricable toil of bills and debts, or mortgages and insurances, and all the horrible evils attendant upon them.

EXT. CASTLE HACKTON - GROUNDS - DAY

Roderick walking alone.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Was it my own want of style, or my want of a fortune? I know not. Now I was arrived at the height of my ambition, but both my skill and my luck seemed to be deserting me. Everything I touched, crumbled in my hands; every speculation I had, failed; every agent I trusted, deceived me. My income was saddled with hundreds of annuities, and thousands of lawyers' charges, and I felt the net drawing closer and closer around me, and no means to extricate myself from its toils. All my schemes had turned out failures.

INT. LONDON GAMING CLUB - NIGHT

Roderick at the gaming table.

RODERICK (V.O.)

My wife's moody despondency made my house and home not over-pleasant; hence, I was driven a good deal abroad, where as play was the fashion in every club, tavern, and assembly, I, of course, was obliged to resume my old habit, and to commence as an amateur those games at which I was once unrivaled in Europe.

Roderick loses a large amount of money.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I had a run of ill-luck at play, and was forced to meet my losses by the most shameful sacrifices to the money-lenders, and was compelled to borrow largely upon my wife's annuities, ensuring her ladyship's life, which was the condition for every loan against her property.

INT. LONDON OFFICE - INSURANCE BROKER - DAY

Roderick and the broker.

BROKER

Your wife's life is as well known among the insurance societies in London, as any woman in Christendom, and, I'm sorry to say there is not one of them willing to place another policy against her ladyship's life. One of them even had the impudence to suggest that your treatment of the Countess did not render her life worth a year's purchase.

EXT. STUD FARM - DAY

Roderick buying a horse.

RODERICK (V.O.)

In the midst of my difficulties, I promised to buy a little horse for my dear little Patrick, which was to be a present for his eighth birthday, that was now coming on. I may have had my faults, but no man shall dare to say of me that I was not a good and tender father.

Roderick admires the horse.

RODERICK (V.O.)

It was a beautiful little animal, and stood me in a good sum. I never regarded money for that dear child.

EXT. ROAD - DAY

The horse kicks off one of the horse-boys who tries to ride him.

RODERICK (V.O.)

But the horse was a bit wild, and he kicked off one of the horse-boys who rode him at first, and broke the lad's leg.

EXT. ROAD - DAY

Roderick riding the horse. The horse-boy lies in the back of a wagon.

RODERICK (V.O.)

But he was a beautiful animal and would make a fine horse for Patrick after he had a bit of breaking-in.

EXT. ROAD - NEAR CASTLE HACKTON - DAY

Roderick dismounts and gives the horse to one of the horse-boys.

RODERICK

Timmy, take the injured lad to see the doctor, and then bring the horse to Doolan's farm, and tell him to break him in thoroughly. Tell him it's for little Patrick, and that I'll be over to see him next week.

HORSE-BOY

Yes, sir.

RODERICK

One more thing, and listen well, I don't want little Patrick to know where the horse is being kept. It's going to be surprise for his birthday.

EXT. CASTLE HACKTON - DAY

Patrick rushes out to greet his father.

PATRICK

Hello, papa!

Roderick picks him up in his arms, and kisses him.

PATRICK

Did you buy the horse, papa?

RODERICK

Now, just have a little patience, my boy. Your birthday isn't until next week.

PATRICK

But I will have it on my birthday, won't I?

RODERICK

Well, we'll just have to wait and see, won't we?

He walks up the steps holding Patrick, who hugs and kisses him.

RODERICK (V.O.)

My son, little Patrick Cosgrove, was a prince; his breeding and manners, even at his early age, showed him to be worthy of the two noble families from whom he was descended, and I don't know what high hopes I had for the boy, and indulged in a thousand fond anticipations as to his future success and figure in the world, but stern Fate had determined that I should leave none of my race behind me.

INT. CASTLE HACKTON - DINING ROOM - NIGHT

Roderick is drunk. Patrick is brought in by his governor, Hunt, to say good night. His kisses his mother first, then approaches Roderick.

PATRICK

(kissing him)

Good night, papa.

RODERICK

Good night, my little darling.

PATRICK

Papa?

RODERICK

Yes?

PATRICK

One of the boys in the stable told Nelly that you've already bought my horse, and that it's at Doolan's farm, where Mick the groom is breaking it in. Is that true, papa?

RODERICK

(angered)

What the devil? What kind of fools do we have here? Pottle, who told the lad this story?

HUNT

I don't know, sir.

PATRICK

Then it's true! It's true! Oh, thank you, papa! Thank you!

He hugs his father.

COUNTESS

Promise me, Patrick, that you will not ride the horse except in the company of your father.

PATRICK

(unconvincingly)

I promise, mama.

RODERICK

I promise your lordship a good flogging if you even so much as go to Doolan's farm to see him.

PATRICK

Yes, papa.

INT. RODERICK'S BEDROOM - DAY

Roderick is awakened by his valet and Hunt, the governor.

RODERICK

"Yes»»»?

VALET

I'm sorry to disturb you, sir, but Mr. Hunt has something important to tell you.

RODERICK

Yes?

HUNT

I think Master Patrick has disobeyed your orders and stolen off to Doolan's farm. When I went to the lad's room this morning, his bed was empty. One of the cooks said she saw him go away before daybreak. He must have slipped through my room while I was asleep.

EXT. CASTLE HACKTON - STABLES - DAY

Roderick, in a rage, taking a great horse-whip, gallops off after the child.

EXT. ROAD - CASTLE HACKTON - DAY

Roderick comes upon a sad procession of farmers, moaning and howling, the black horse led by the hand, and, on a door that some of them carry, little Patrick. He lies in his little boots and spurs, and his little coat of scarlet and gold. His face is quite white, and he smiles as he holds a hand out to Roderick and says painfully:

PATRICK

You won't whip me, will you, papa? Roderick bursts out into tears in reply.

INT. PATRICK'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Some doctors around the bed, Roderick and the Countess anxiously waiting upon them.

RODERICK (V.O.)

The doctors were called, but what does a doctor avail in a contest with the grim, invincible enemy? Such as came could only confirm our despair by their account of the poor child's case. His spine was injured, the lower half of him was dead when they laid him in bed at home. The rest did not last long, God help me! He remained yet for two days with us, and a sad comfort it was to think he was in no pain.

INT. PATRICK'S BEDROOM - DAY

Roderick, Countess and Patrick.

PARTICK

(weakly)

Papa, I beg you and mama to pardon me for any acts of disobedience I have been guilty of towards you.

COUNTESS

(weeping)

Oh, my little angel, you have done nothing for which you need pardon.

PATRICK

Where is Brooksy? I would like to see him.

RODERICK

Your bother is in America fighting the rebels.

PATRICK

Is he all right, papa?

RODERICK

Yes, he's fine.

PATRICK

Brooksy was better than you, papa, he used not to swear so, and he taught me many good things while you were away.

Patrick takes a hand of his mother and of Roderick, in each of his little clammy ones.

PATRICK

I beg you not to quarrel so, but to love each other, so that we might meet again in heaven where Brooksy told me quarrelsome people never go.

His mother is much affected by these admonitions, and Roderick is too.

Patrick gives Roderick a ring from his finger, and a locket to his mother.

He says that these gifts are so that they will not forget him.

RODERICK (V.O.)

At last, after two days, he died. There he lay, the hope of my family, the pride of my manhood, the link which kept me and my Lady Cosgrove together.

EXT. CHURCH - GRAVEYARD - DAY

Funeral.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I won't tell you with what splendor we buried him, but what avail are undertakers' feathers and heralds' trumpery.

EXT. CASTLE HACKTON - STABLE - DAY

Roderick enters the stable and, after a few seconds, we hear a pistol shot. He exits rapidly, the smoking pistol still in his hand.

INT. CASTLE HACKTON - VARIOUS - DAY AND NIGHT

The Countess: Praying. Waking up screaming. Fits of crying. Severely depressed.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Lady Cosgrove, always vaporish and nervous, after our blessed boy's catastrophe, became more agitated than ever, and plunged into devotion with so much fervor that you would have fancied her almost distracted at times.

Countess sees visions.

RODERICK (V.O.)

She imagined she saw visions. She said an angel from heaven told her that Patrick's death was a punishment to her for her neglect of her firstborn. Then she would declare that Brookside was dead.

INT. RODERICK'S STUDY - DAY

Roderick and his accountant. Bills, bills, bills.

RODERICK (V.O.)

By now, my financial affairs were near to ruin. I could not get a guinea from any money-dealer in London. Our rents were in the hands of receivers by this time, and it was as much as I could do to get enough money from the rascals to pay my wine-merchants their bills. Our property was hampered, and often as I applied to my lawyers and agents for money, would come a reply demanding money of me for debts and pretended claims which the rapacious rascals said they had on me.

EXT. CASTLE HACKTON - DAY

Mother arrives. Roderick greets her. Servants unload her bags.

RODERICK (V.O.)

My mother was the only person who, in my misfortune, remained faithful to me -- indeed, she has always spoken of me in my true light, as a martyr to the rascality of others, and a victim of my own generous and confiding temper.

INT. CASTLE HACKTON - DAY

Mother supervising kitchen staff.

RODERICK (V.O.)

She was an invaluable person to me in my house, which would have been at rack and ruin before, but for her spirit of order and management and her excellent economy in the government of my rapidly dwindling household staff.

EXT. CASTLE HACKTON - GARDEN - DAY

Roderick and his mother.

RODERICK (V.O.)

If anything could have saved me from the consequences of villainy in others, it would have been the admirable prudence of that worthy creature.

INT. CASTLE HACKTON - DRAWING ROOM - NIGHT

Action as per voice over.

RODERICK (V.O.)

She never went to bed until all the house was quiet and all the candles out; you may fancy that this was a matter of some difficulty with a man of my habits who had commonly a dozen of jovial fellows to drink with me every night, and who seldom, for my part, went to bed sober.

INT. CASTLE HACKTON - RODERICK'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Actions as per voice over.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Many and many a night, when I was unconscious of her attention, has that good soul pulled my boots off, and seen me laid by my servants snug in bed, and carried off the candle herself...

INT. CASTLE HACKTON - RODERICK'S BEDROOM - DAY

Action as per voice over.

RODERICK (V.O.)

... and been the first in the morning, too, to bring me my drink of small beer. It was my mother's pride that I could drink more than any man in the country.

INT. RODERICK'S STUDY - NIGHT

Roderick and his mother holding a letter before a fire, which slowly brings out the writing in lemon juice between the widely-spaced lines of directions to her milliner.

RODERICK (V.O.)

My mother discovered that always, before my lady-wife chose to write letters to her milliner, she had need of lemons to make her drink, as she said, and this fact, being mentioned to me, kind of set me a-thinking.

RODERICK

(reading letter aloud)

"This day, three years ago, my last hope and pleasure in life was taken from me, and my dear child was called to Heaven. Where is his neglected brother, whom I suffered to grow up unheeded by my side, and whom the tyranny of the monster to whom I am united drove to exile, and, perhaps to death? I pray the child is still alive and safe. Charles Brookside! Come to the aide of a wretched mother, who acknowledges her crime, her coldness towards you, and now bitterly pays for her error! What sufferings, what humiliations have I had to endure! I am a prisoner in my own halls. I should fear poison, but then I know the wretch has a sordid interest in keeping me alive, and that my death would be the signal for his ruin. But I dare not stir without my odious, hideous, vulgar gaoler, the horrid Irish woman, who purses my every step. I am locked into my chamber at night, like a felon, and only suffered to leave it when ordered into the presence of my lord, to be present at his orgies with his boon-companions, and to hear his odious converse as he lapses into the disgusting madness of intoxication."

INT. CASTLE HACKTON - DINING ROOM - NIGHT

Roderick, and the Countess and mother, at a silent dinner.

RODERICK (V.O.)

It was not possible to recover the name for whom the note was intended, but it was clear that, to add to all my perplexities, three years after my poor child's death, my wife, whose vagaries of temper and wayward follies I had borne with for twelve years, wanted to leave me. I decided it best not to reveal to her ladyship our discovery, that we might still intercept and uncover further schemes with might be afoot.

INT. CASTLE HACKTON - VARIOUS - DAY AND NIGHT

A few cuts showing Mother keeping an eye on the Countess.

RODERICK (V.O.)

Yet I was bound to be on my guard that she should not give me the slip. Had she left me, I was ruined the next day. I set my mother to keep sharp watch over the moods of her ladyship, and you may be sure that her assistance and surveillance were invaluable to me. If I had paid twenty spies to watch her lady, I should not have been half so well served as by the disinterested care and watchfulness of my excellent mother.

EXT. CASTLE HACKTON - GARDENS - DAY

Roderick walking with the Countess.

RODERICK (V.O.)

My Lady Cosgrove's relationship with me was a singular one. Her life was passed in a series of crack-brained sort of alternation between love and hatred for me. We would quarrel for a fortnight, then we should be friends for a month together sometimes. One day, I was joking her, and asking her whether she would take the water again, whether she had found another lover, and so forth. She suddenly burst out into tears, and, after a while, said to me:

COUNTESS

Roderick, you know well enough that I have never loved but you! Was I ever so wretched that a kind word from you did not make me happy? Ever so angry, but the least offer of good-will on your part did not bring me to your side? Did I not give a sufficient proof of my affection for you in bestowing one of the finest fortunes of England upon you? Have I repined or rebuked you for the way you have wasted it? No, I loved you too much and too fondly; I have always loved you. From the first moment I saw you, I saw your bad qualities, and trembled at your violence; but I could not help loving you. I married you, though I knew I was sealing my own fate in doing so, and in spite of reason and duty. What sacrifice do you want from me? I am ready to make any, so you will but love me, or, if not, that at least, you will gently us me.

Roderick kisses her.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I was in a particularly good humor that day, and we had a sort of reconciliation.

INT. CASTLE HACKTON - NIGHT

Roderick and his mother.

MOTHER

Depend on it, artful hussy has some other scheme in her head now.

RODERICK (V.O.)

The old lady was right, and I swallowed the bait which her ladyship had prepared to entrap me as simply as any gudgeon takes a hook.

EXT. CASTLE HACKTON - DAY

Arrival of Mr. Newcombe, the money-broker.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I had hired a money-broker especially to find some means of my making a loan. After several months without success, it was with some considerable interest that I received his visit.

INT. RODERICK'S STUDY - DAY

Roderick and the money-broker, Mr. Newcombe.

NEWCOMBE

I have good news for you, Mr. Cosgrove. The firm of Bracegirdle and Chatwick, in the city of London, are prepared to lend you 20,000 pounds, pledged against your interest in the Edric mines. They will redeem the encumbrances against the property, which amount to some 10,000 pounds, and take a twenty-year working lease on the mines. They will lend you the 20,000 pounds against the lease income, which they will apply to the loan as it comes in, and they will make a charge of 18% per annum interest on the outstanding loan balance.

RODERICK

Mr. Newcombe, I have made some difficult loans during the past few years, at very onerous terms, but 18% a year interest seems very stiff indeed.

NEWCOMBE

Considering your financial circumstances, Mr. Cosgrove, it has been impossible to find anyone at all prepared to do any business with you. I think you may count yourself lucky to have this opportunity. But, obviously, if you would reject this offer, I shall keep trying to find a better one.

RODERICK

(after a pause)

I am prepared to accept the terms, Mr. Newcombe.

NEWCOMBE

There are a few other points we should discuss. The loan agreement can only be executed by her ladyship's signature, and provided that Bracegirdle and Chatwick can be assured of her ladyship's freewill in giving her signature.

RODERICK

Provided that they can be assured of her ladyship's freewill? Are you serious?

NEWCOMBE

May I be quite frank with you?

RODERICK

Yes, of course.

NEWCOMBE

Mister Bracegirdle said to me that he had heard her ladyship lives in some fear of her life, and meditated a separation, in which case, she might later repudiate any documents signed by herself while in durance, and subject them, at any rate, to a doubtful and expensive litigation. They were quite insistent on this point, and said they must have absolute assurance of her ladyship's perfect freewill in the transaction before they would advance a shilling of their capital.

RODERICK

I see.

NEWCOMBE

When I asked them in what form they would accept her ladyship's assurances, they said that they were only prepared to accept them if her ladyship confirms her written consent by word of mouth, in their presence, at their counting-house in Birchin Lane, London. I requested they come here, and save her ladyship and yourself the inconvenience of the trip to London, but they declined, saying that they did not wish to incur the risk of a visit to Castle Hackton to negotiate, as they were aware of how other respectable parties, such as Messrs. Sharp and Salomon had been treated here.

INT. CASTLE HACKTON - DAY

Roderick and his mother.

MOTHER

Depend on it, there is some artifice. When once you get into that wicked town, you are not safe. There are scores of writs out against you for debt. If you are taken in London, and thrown into prison, your case is hopeless.

RODERICK

Mother dear, we are now living off our own beef and mutton. We have to watch Lady Cosgrove within and the bailiffs without. There are certain situations in which people cannot dictate their own terms; and faith, we are so pressed now for money, that I would sign a bond with old Nick himself, if he would provide a good round sum. With this money, we can settle our principal debts and make a fresh start.

MOTHER

Roderick, you must listen to me. As soon as they have you in London, they will get the better of my poor innocent lad; and the first thing that I shall hear of you will be that you are in trouble. You will be a victim of your own generous and confiding nature.

INT. CASTLE HACKTON - COUNTESS' BEDROOM

Roderick and the Countess.

COUNTESS

Why go, Roderick? I am happy here, as long as you are kind to me, as you now are. We can't appear in London as we ought; the little money you will get will be spent, like all the rest has been. Let us stay here and be content.

She takes his hand and kisses it.

INT. CASTLE HACKTON - DAY

Mother and Roderick.

MOTHER

Humph! I believe she is at the bottom of it the wicked schemer.

EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - DAY

Roderick's carriage moving along.

RODERICK (V.O.)

We did not start in state, you may be sure. We did not let the country know we were going, or leave notice of adieu with our neighbors. The famous Mr. James Cosgrove and his noble wife traveled in a hack-chaise and pair.

INT. COACH - DAY

The Countess lays her head on Roderick's shoulder and smiles.

RODERICK (V.O.)

When a man is going to the devil, how easy and pleasant a journey it is! The thought of the money quite put me in a good humor, and my wife, as she lay on my shoulder in the post-chaise, going to London, said it was the happiest ride she had taken since our marriage.

EXT. INN - DUSK

The carriage stops and they disembark.

RODERICK (V.O.)

One night we stayed at Reading.

INT. INN - NIGHT

Roderick and his wife at dinner.

RODERICK (V.O.)

My lady and I agreed that, with the money, we would go to France, and wait there for better times, and that night, over our supper, formed a score of plans both for pleasure and retrenchment. You would have thought it was Darby and Joan together over their supper.

INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

Roderick and his wife making love.

RODERICK (V.O.)

O woman! Woman! When I recollect Lady Cosgrove's smiles and blandishments, how happy she seemed to be on that night! What an air of innocent confidence appeared in her behavior, and what affectionate names she called me! I am lost in wonder at the depth of her hypocrisy. Who can be surprised that an unsuspecting person like myself should have been a victim to such a consummate deceiver?

EXT. GRAY'S INN OFFICE - DAY

The coach drives up.

RODERICK (V.O.)

We were in London at three o'clock, an half-an-hour before the time appointed.

INT. STAIRCASE - DAY

Roderick and the Countess looking for the office.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I easily found out Mr. Tapewell's apartment: a gloomy den it was, and in an unlucky hour, I entered it.

They climb up dirty backstairs, lit by a feeble lamp, and the dim sky of a dismal London afternoon.

The Countess seems agitated and faint.

When they get to the door, she stops in front of it.

COUNTESS

Roderick -- don't go in. I am sure there is danger. There's time yet, let us go back -- anywhere!

The Countess has put herself before the door in a theatrical attitude and takes Roderick's hand.

He pushes her away to one side.

RODERICK

Lady Cosgrove, you are an old fool.

COUNTESS

Old fool!

She jumps at the bell, which is quickly answered by a moldy-looking gentleman in an unpowered wig.

COUNTESS

Say Lady Cosgrove is here!

She stalks down the passage, muttering: "Old Fool."

INT. MR. TAPEWELL'S OFFICE - DAY

Tapewell is in his musty room, surrounded by his parchments and tin boxes.

He advances and bows, begs her ladyship to be seated, and points towards a chair for Roderick, which he takes, rather wondering at the lawyer's insolence.

The lawyer retreats to a side-door, saying he will be back in a moment.

In the next moment, he reenters, bringing with him another layer, six constables in red waist-coats, with bludgeons and pistols, and Lord Brookside.

Lady Cosgrove flings herself into the arms of her son, crying and whimpering and calling him her savior, her preserver, her gallant knight.

Then, turning to Roderick, she pours out a flood of invective which quite astonishes him.

COUNTESS

Oh fool as I am, I have outwitted the most crafty and treacherous monster under the sun. Yes, I was a fool when I married you, and gave up other and nobler hearts for your sake -- yes, I was a fool when I forgot my name and lineage to unite myself with a base-born adventurer -- a fool to bear, without repining, the most monstrous tyranny that ever woman suffered; to allow my property to be squandered; to see women as base and low-born as yourself...

TAPEWELL

For heaven's sake, be calm.

Tapewell bounds back behind the constables, seeing a threatening look in Roderick's eye.

The Countess continues in a strain of incoherent fury, screaming against Roderick, and against his mother, and always beginning and ending the sentence with the word "fool."

RODERICK

You didn't tell all, my lady - I said "old" fool.

BROOKSIDE

I have no doubt that you said and did, sir, everything that a blackguard could say or do. This lady is now safe under the protection of her relations and the law, and need fear your infamous persecutions no longer.

RODERICK

But you are not safe, and as sure as I am a man of honor, I will have your heart's blood.

TAPEWELL

Take down his words, constables; swear the peace against him.

BROOKSIDE

I would not sully my sword with the blood of such a ruffian. If the scoundrel remains in London another day, he will be seized as a common swindler.

RODERICK

Where's the man who will seize me? He draws his sword, placing his back to the door.

RODERICK

Let the scoundrel come! You -- you cowardly braggart, come first, if you have the soul of a man!

The Countess and the bailiffs move away.

TAPEWELL

We are not going to seize you! My dear sir, we don't wish to seize you; we will give you a handsome sum to leave the country, only leave her ladyship in peace.

BROOKSIDE

And the country will be rid of such a villain.

As Brookside says this, he backs into the next room.

The lawyer follows him, leaving Roderick alone in the company of the constables who are all armed to the teeth.

RODERICK (V.O.)

I was no longer the man I was at twenty, when I should have charged the ruffians, sword in hand, and sent at least one of them to his account. I was broken in spirit, regularly caught in the toils, utterly baffled and beaten by that woman. Was she relenting at the door, when she paused and begged me to turn back? Had she not a lingering love for me still? Her conduct showed it, as I came to reflect on it. It was my only chance now left in the world, so I put down my sword upon the lawyers desk.

Roderick puts his sword down on the lawyer's desk.

RODERICK

Gentlemen, I shall have no violence; you may tell Mr. Tapewell I am quite ready to speak with him when he is at leisure.

Roderick sits down and folds his arms quite peaceably.

EXT. COFFEE HOUSE - NEAR GRAY'S INN - DAY INT. RODERICK'S ROOM IN COFFEE HOUSE - DAY

RODERICK (V.O.)

I was instructed to take a lodging for the night in a coffee house near Gray's Inn, and anxiously expected a visit from Mr. Tapewell.

Tapewell talking to Roderick.

TAPEWELL

I have been authorized by Lady Cosgrove and her advisors to pay you an annuity of 3 00 pounds a year, specifically on the condition of you remaining abroad out of the three kingdoms, and to be stopped on the instant of your return. I advise you to accept it without delay for you know, as well as I do, that your stay in London will infallibly plunge you in gaol, as there are innumerable writs taken out against you here and in the west of England, and that your credit is so blown upon that you could not hope to raise a shilling. I will leave you the night to consider this proposal, but if you refuse, the family will proceed against you in London, and have you arrested. If you accede, a quarter salary will be paid to you at any foreign port you should prefer.

RODERICK

Mr. Tapewell, I do not require a night to consider this proposal. What other choice has a poor, lonely and broken-hearted man? I shall take the annuity, and leave the country.

MR. TAPEWELL

I am very glad to hear that you have come to this decision, Mr. Cosgrove. I think you are very wise.

There is a knock at the door and Roderick opens it. Brookside enters with four constables armed with pistols.

The dialogue for this scene has to be written.

Brookside has gone against the bargain, and has decided to have Roderick arrested upon one of the many writs out against him for debt.

Mr. Tapewell is surprised and complains weakly that Brookside is acting in bad faith.

Brookside brushes aside his objections.

Roderick is defeated, and meekly sits down in a chair.

The following lines are read over Roderick being shackled and led out of the room.

NARRATOR

Mr. James Cosgrove's personal narrative finishes here, for the hand of death interrupted the ingenious author soon after the period which this memoir was compiled, after he had lived nineteen years an inmate of the Fleet Prison, where the prison records state he died of delirium tremens.

EXT. FLEET PRISON - DAY

His mother, now very old and hobbled with arthritis, enters the prison, carrying a basket on her arm.

NARRATOR

His faithful old mother joined him in his lonely exile, and had a bedroom in Fleet Market over the way. She would come and stay the whole day with him in prison working.

INT. CASTLE HACKTON - COUNTESS' STUDY

Signing a payment draft, the Countess sighs and gazes out of the large window.

NARRATOR

The Countess was never out of love with her husband, and, as long as she lived, James enjoyed his income of 3 00 pounds per year and was, perhaps, as happy in prison, as at any period of his existence.

INT. CASTLE HACKTON - STUDY - DAY

Brookside tearing up the payment draft presented to him by his accountant.

NARRATOR

When her ladyship died, her son sternly cut off the annuity, devoting the sum to charities, which, he said, would make a nobler use of it than the scoundrel who had enjoyed it hitherto.

INT. FLEET PRISON - DAY

Roderick, now grey-haired, blacking boots.

NARRATOR

When the famous character lost his income, his spirit entirely failed. He was removed into the pauper's ward, where he was known to black boots for wealthier prisoners, and where he was detected in stealing a tobacco box.

INT. FLEET PRISON - DAY

Roderick and his mother. Action as per voice over.

NARRATOR

His mother attained a prodigious old age, and the inhabitants of the place in her time can record, with accuracy, the daily disputes which used to take place between mother and son, until the latter, from habits of intoxication, falling into a state of almost imbecility, was tended by his tough old parent as a baby almost, and would cry if deprived of his necessary glass of brandy.

TITLE CARD

It was in the reign of George III that the above-named personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

FADE OUT.

THE END




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