The Devil and Daniel Webster

[a.k.a. "All That Money Can Buy"]

The hill farm of Jabez Stone, in New Hampshire, some miles from the village 
of Cross Corners, around 1840. It is a poor farm, stony and stingy with its 
favors. The house is small, simple, bare.

A wide view of the JABEZ STONE FARM on a Sunday morning fades in, and it is 
seen squatting down under the muddy, showery skies of a cold New Hampshire 
spring. The grip of winter is broken -- the ground runs with water. The air 
is still cold but the sun is warm at noon. It's a cold spring, but liveness 
has begun to come back to the earth. It isn't depressing weather -- exciting 
rather -- for after months of snow and ice, there is going to be warmth and 
light, though not quite yet. But they're in the air -- on the way.
Over this scene comes the sound of distant church bells, ringing faintly from 
the village of Cross Corners, and Jabez Stone, a husky young farmer in his 
late twenties, gets a rather discouraged-looking horse hitched to a rattle-
trap buggy.
		Mary! Ma! All ready? First bell's a-ringing.
Ma Stone, a brisk old woman, Jabez's mother, bustles to the door, which 
stands open. She wears her best Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes and is 
adjusting her bonnet, tying the strings under her chin with nervous fingers.
		Yes, we're all ready. Mary's just coming down.
She comes out on the porch. She has a tart tongue and knows how to use it, 
but when she talks to her son or her daughter-in-law, there is affection 
under the tartness.
			(helping him into his coat)
		Now, son. Cheer up. We're all healthy. We've 
		still got meal in the barrel. And look at that 
		sky ... 
			(pointing out) 
		... big cracks in it like it was ice on the 
		mill pond cracking up to show it's spring 
		a-coming. If that ain't enough for a 
		God-fearing New Hampshire family, I want to 
And Ma Stone climbs up to the seat of the buggy, Jabez on her side to help 
Now Mary appears at the door, also dressed for church. She is four or five 
years younger than Jabez, small, appealing, with rather fine features. She 
looks more fragile than she is. It is obvious that she and Jabez are very 
much in love.
			(seeing the pool of mud in 
			her way, stops and calls)
		Jabez -- help!

He rushes from the buggy to help.
The dog, Shep, a ragged shepherd, appears from below the hill, running with a 
stick in his mouth. He jumps up against Jabez's leg, wiping his mud-caked 
paws on him.
		Down, Shep! Down!
		He only wants you to throw the stick for him, 
		Jabez. I guess he's feeling the spring 
		a-coming, too.
		All right -- only he needn't dirty my pants!
He wrests the stick away from Shep and throws it far off with a mighty swing. 
Shep runs after it, barking excitedly. Mary, standing on the edge of the 
porch, follows the soaring stick with her eyes.
			(speaking with pride)
		You throw mighty far, Jabez -- almost into the 

	 		(from the buggy)
		Mary -- Jabez --
		Coming, Ma.

			(as he sweeps Mary up in his 
			arms, carrying her to the buggy)
		What is that smile on your face?
			(glancing down at his clothes) 
		Is there anything wrong with me?
		Now, Jabez! I've got on my Sunday bonnet and 
		I'm going to church with my husband. Almost the 
		first time since the beginning of winter -- and 
		if that isn't an occasion, I don't know what is.
		You're right, Mary.

		I hope we won't be too late -- 
She shifts her position so that Mary can get in too. The barking of Shep is 
heard, and then suddenly the squealing of a pig.
		Now, what the dickens -- 
And we see Shep on the SLOPE COMING FROM THE BARNS, barking excitedly and 
chasing after a small pig that his barking has scared into a panic. 
Thereupon, at the STONE HOUSE, Jabez stands up in the buggy.
		Look at that consarn dog! Shep! Stop it! Shep!
Jabez leaps down  from the buggy and heads for the bushes, chasing the pig. 
Shep runs after him, barking furiously, only making matters worse. And on the 
SLOPE CUTTING DOWN TO THE GULLY there unfolds a wild scene of Jabez trying to 
catch the slippery pig. Both man and pig slip through the mud and fall. Once, 
Jabez almost catches the pig; grabs frantically for its hind leg, but the pig 
manages to break away. Finally, the pig slips over some rocks in the gully 
and falls, hurting its leg. Jabez succeeds in cornering it, helped by Shep 
who rounds it up as he would a sheep, and Jabez carries the pig back toward 
the house, his clothes now a sight with mud and wet.
		Well, I guess we won't be going to church today.
		I guess we won't.
Jabez emerges from the gully with the pig, still squealing, in his arms. He  
comes up panting, the muddy dog following him, looking quite triumphant and 
not at all guilty. Mary is near. Jabez comes up to her and they stand for a 
moment looking at each other.
			(as the pig squeals)
		Quiet, Mr. Porker! 
			(laughing, as he struggles 
			to hold it) 
		He's worse than a greased pig at the county 
They walk into the house as the rain starts.

The KITCHEN: It is the largest room in the house and very much the 
pleasantest. There is a big fireplace with fire in it, crane, pot-hooks, etc. 
All of the cooking is done here. A clock, with a tinny striking effect, hangs 
on the wall. Jabez and Mary enter. Ma follows.
			(looking over the pig)
		I think his leg is broken.
			(taking his wet trousers, hanging 
			them near the fire, and covering 
			his knees with a blanket)
		Oh, Jabez.
			(shaking his head)
He is fitting a crude splint to the pig's wounded leg, helped by Mary, who 
holds the splint while Jabez wraps it tightly with some rags torn from an old 
shirt. The pig doesn't like this a bit, and often protests loudly, in the 
shrill guttural of pigs.
		I remember Dad used to say sometimes, when they 
		were handing out hard luck, the farmers got 
		there first.
		Jabez, don't you remember your own wedding? We 
		said it's for better or worse. We said it's for 
		richer or poorer.
		That's what we said.
			(has taken the Bible 
			and starts leading)
		"There was a man in the land of Uz whose name 
		was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, 
		and one that feared God and eschewed evil."
			(as the pig heaves and 
			almost breaks away)
		Consarn the consarn -- 
		Jabez! What kind of talk is that for the 
		Sabbath? And me a-reading the holy word!
		Sorry, Ma -- but this consar-- this little 
		pig --  He won't let me fix him --
		He's stubborn as a Stone.
		Hold the splint tighter -- it's almost done. 
			(As Mary holds the splint tighter) 
		Go on reading, Ma. This man, Job, he had 
		troubles, didn't he?
		You know that, son. 

		Hard luck -- like me.
		Now, Jabez Stone -- as for what you're calling 
		hard luck -- well, we made New England out of 
		it. That and codfish.
		That's right, Ma -- we ain't licked yet. A 
		Stone's never licked till he's dead -- that's 
		what Dad used to say, didn't he, Ma?
Ma Stone nods silently.
			(finishing with the pig)
		There! Guess that ought to hold good. Put him 
		down here, by the fire, Mary. 
			(moving forward an empty woodbox) 
		But we don't want to get him too close -- we'll 
		have roast pork for supper.
			(with a smile)
		Not on the Sabbath you won't, Jabez!
		Give me the book, Ma! I'm going to read us 
		something comforting.
Ma hands her the book, and Mary plumps it down on her knee with spirit; turns
the pages; then remembers and looks up at Ma Stone.  

		That is -- if you don't mind changing the 
		lesson, Ma.
		Land sakes, I don't mind. I never did hold much 
		with Job, even if he is Scripture. He took on 
		too much to suit me. I don't want to malign the 
		man, but he always sounded to me as if he came 
		from Massachusetts. Yes, Mary, you go ahead 
		and read.
As Mary is about to read, there is a dash of rain on the windows, and Shep is 
heard barking from outside. Holding the blanket around him, Jabez rises and 
goes to the window.

		Well, I'll be -- there's a rig, turning in, by
		the gate.
			(rising and going quickly 
			to the window)
		Who is it?
		It's Tom Sharp and two other fellers -- Oh, 
		glory -- where's my pants?
He makes a wild scramble for them, grabbing them up from a chair near the 
fire. The women, in the way of all women, are rushing about, fixing up the 
kitchen. Shep is heard barking, outside.
Outside, a buggy has driven up in the teeming rain and two farmers, their 
clothes drenched, are climbing down, while a third farmer remains in the 
driver's seat, reining in the horse. The men run for the shelter of the 
porch, barked at by the dog, who has been curled up by the kitchen door. They 
reach the door and knock; one pats the dog and quiets him. Jabez, pulling up 
his braces, opens the door.
		Afternoon, Mary.
		Afternoon, Tom. Come in.
Tom Sharp starts to come in slowly, followed by his friends.
		There's a mat there to wipe your feet on.

		Thanks, ma'am. Howdy, Jabez.
		Howdy, Tom.

He wipes his feet vigorously. So does his companion.

			(introducing the second farmer)
		This is Van Brooks -- he's Massachusetts.

Thereupon Ma Stone looks at him with redoubled suspicion. And now the third 
farmer, the one driving the buggy, stands at the door, stamping his wet feet.

		This is Eli Higgins -- Vermont.

		There's a mat there to wipe your feet on.

		Thanks, ma'am. 

He enters.
Each farmer ducks awkwardly as introduced and mutters, "Afternoon, ma'am," to 
Mary and Ma Stone. They come over and hold their hands out to the blaze that 
Mary pokes up.

		Come on close to the fire -- Set down.

They sit.
			(who is nearest to the wood-box)
		Little pig hurt himself?

The women busy themselves at the cupboard over in one corner, opposite side 
of the fireplace. The men make themselves comfortable by the fire, as Jabez 
adds a few logs of wood and again pokes up the coals, but they do not smoke. 
Eli Higgins gets his pipe out and is about to fill it.
		We don't smoke on Sabbath in New Hampshire.
		Sorry, ma'am, I forgot. 
			(And he puts the pipe away.)
			(to Eli Higgins)
		How's the year been in your part of the 
		Had a good stand of corn -- coming up right 
		nice. Then we got a hailstorm -- in June. 
		Hailstones so mighty chickens sat on 'em 
		thinking they was eggs. Makes you wonder 
		sometimes what Providence is thinking about.
		We got a snowstorm in August.
		In August?
		Yes, and it was so cold -- a man got caught in 
		it -- froze him solid, all except his heart. 
		That was frozen already.
		Loan shark -- hey?
		Too bad it didn't happen to Miser Stevens.
		Are you one of old Stevens' customers too?
		Sure am.
		Yes, it's the debt and the lien and the 
		mortgage that eats up the farmer!

He stretches out his thin legs; uses a splinter of wood for a toothpick, 
pulled from a log near the fire.
		City folks, they can go bankrupt -- a farmer, 
		he can't crawl easy.
		Laws ought to be changed, somehow.
		Yes! We farmers ought to put through some of 
		our own laws at regular meetings -- have a sort 
		of Grange as they call it in Vermont.
		That's why the three of us met up together, 
		Neighbor Stone. We're American citizens -- 
		we've got a right to get ourselves organized 
		like city folks.
		What do you say? Sound reasonable to you?
			(pulling his chin)
		Sure does. But I'll have to sleep on it a 
		couple of nights.
		That's fair enough, Jabez. Man's got a right to 
		mull things over. We'll drive round again, week 
		or so.
They get up.
		I am just thinkin' -- now they mightn't like 
		the idea down in Washington.
		Why not! There's a bill up in Congress to give 
		us a uniform law of bankruptcy. Daniel Webster 
		is fighting for it right now--
		Black Dan'l?

		Yep -- the biggest man in the whole U.S. -- 
		Senator from Massachusetts -- and surely our 
		next president. 

		He was born and raised at Franklin -- right 
		across the valley -- Mary is from there, too.
			(leaping in -- flushed 
			with excitement)
		He gave my father advice, many times -- about 
		crops and politics -- and it was always right.
		I've heard people talk a lot about his farm at 
		Marshfield. He's up at five there every morning. 
		He ain't one of our gentleman farmers. He knows 
		all the ways of the land.
		They say, when he goes out to fish, the trout 
		jump out of the stream and right into his 
		pockets, because they know it's no use arguing.
		Why, they say that when he speaks, stars and 
		stripes come right out in the sky....
The scene dissolves into WEBSTER'S STUDY at night. Daniel Webster is seated 
at his desk writing a speech. A table lamp lights his face, leaving the rest 
of the room in darkness. On the wall behind him we see the shadow of Scratch.
		Listen, Black Dan'l, You're wasting your time 
		writing speeches like that. Why worry about the 
		people and their problems? Start thinking of 
		your own. You want to be president of this 
		country, don't you -- and you ought to be -- 
			(continues dreamily)  
		-- Inauguration Day parade -- bands playing -- 
		horses prancing, the sun shining on the stars 
		and stripes waving in the breeze -- crowds 
		cheering Daniel Webster, President of the 
		United States of America.... 
			(more briskly)  
		Don't be a fool. Stop bothering with that 
		speech and get busy promoting yourself instead 
		of the people.
Webster at this point grabs the inkwell and throws it at the shadow on the 
wall. The shadow disappears, and Webster turns back looking over his speech.
Then the SPEECH IN WEBSTER'S HANDWRITING appears on the screen.
		"I would say to every man who follows his own 
		plough, and to every mechanic, artisan, and 
		laborer in every city in the country -- I would 
		say to every man, everywhere, who wishes by 
		honest means to gain an honest living, 'Beware 
		of wolves in sheep's clothing'!"
This dissolves to a series of views, montage shots, of a group in a village 
square: of men and women, farmer types, reading a copy of Webster's speech, 
headed "Webster Pleads for Farm Rights in Bankruptcy Bill."
		"The insolvent farmers cannot even come to the 
		seat of their Government to present their cases 
		to Congress -- so great is their fear that some 
		creditor will arrest them in some intervening 
		state -- "
This dissolves to a field, revealing a farmer reading from the same speech, 
with his wife and son. It is day.

		"We talk much and talk warmly of political 
		liberty, but who can enjoy political liberty if 
		he is deprived permanently of personal liberty? 
		To those unfortunate individuals doomed to the 
		everlasting bondage of debt, what is it that we 
		have free institutions of Government?"
This dissolves to the JABEZ STONE KITCHEN in the afternoon, revealing Jabez, 
dressed to go to town, seated by the small table, glancing over Daniel 
Webster's speech copied in the "Cross Corners Gazette." The Sheriff is 
looking over Jabez's shoulder. On the other side of the table is Mary. On the 
table is the cracked teapot in which they have hoarded their small savings. 
Mary is counting the money.
			(reading from the paper -- 
			Webster's speech)
		" ... and if the final vote shall leave 
		thousands of our fellow citizens and their 
		families in hopeless distress, can we -- 
		members of the Government -- go to our beds 
		with a clear conscience, can we, without self-
		reproach, supplicate the Almighty Mercy to 
		forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors?
		That's wonderful language. It would move a 
		If it would only move old Miser Stevens --  
		We've still got to pay him. 

		Yep -- you can't get around that mortgage.  
		-- I'm sorry, Jabez.
		It's all right, Sheriff.
		Wish I could really do something for you. But 
		you know Stevens. He'll throw you off your 
		farm tomorrow if you don't pay him tonight.
		Let him try it.

		The law is the law. Good-bye, Mary.

		Goodbye, Sheriff.
The Sheriff leaves.
		Well -- what are we going to do? 

		We can still use my butter money. 

		Your butter money?

		Do you think I'm grudging it?

		Mary -- it's gone. 

		Not all of it?

		Yes -- I had to pay the vet in full. He just 
		wouldn't have treated the horse this time. 
		After all, we can't very well do without a 
		It's all right, Jabez. We'll find something 
		to pay Stevens.
		If the pig hadn't broke his leg, we could have 
		taken him.
		Jabez! Couldn't you take a sack of seed 
		To save us work on the spring plowing?
		You always said, the field uphill needs a rest, 
		but if you think -- 
	 	Mary, I'm a farmer -- always will be. To me 
		seed isn't a thing to pay debts with, it's 
		alive, more alive than anything -- but I guess 
		you're right. We just got to do it. Oh -- how's 
		it all going to end?
		Jabez -- you ought to talk to Tom about joining 
		the Grange.
		I will, Mary -- always thought a man could be 
		stronger alone -- seems I've been wrong about 
Ma Stone calls from outside.
		Jabez! You'll be late! 

		All right, Ma--

He gathers up the worn bills and puts them in the inside pocket of his coat. 

		Just a minute.

She runs for the stairs that lead to the bedrooms.
The SIDE PORCH OF THE KITCHEN: The wagon stands, already hitched, by the side 
door. A fine, white-faced calf, at the long-legged skittery stage, is being 
held by Ma Stone by a piece of rope around its neck. It is extremely nervous,
anticipating a drastic change, and jumps about a good deal, tugging at the 
rope. As Jabez comes out from the house, Ma Stone is jerking at the rope, 
trying to make the calf quiet down.
		How'd you know to have the calf ready, Ma?
				MA STONE  
		I just figgered -- knew you didn't have enough 
		Yes -- and you figgered right, consarn it!
		That's a word you're too free with lately, 
		Jabez, consarn this and consarn that ...
		Helps sometimes to say it.
 				MA STONE 
			(with understanding)
		All right, son -- if it helps.
Mary comes out of the house. She holds a scarf in her hand.
			(as she sees the calf)
		Seed alone won't do, Mary. We have to throw the 
		calf in.
			(very much disappointed)
		Oh Jabez! And we were counting on ...
		It's a lovely calf.
			(still glum)
		You're right, Mary it's a fine calf. That's why 
		Stevens'll take it for the rest of the payment.
He sighs and starts to get the calf up on the wagon, and Mary climbs up on 
the wagon to help. At this moment the horse moves, Mary loses her balance, 
and falls over backward from the wagon. Jabez rushes over to her.

		Mary -- are you hurt? 

Mary is unconscious and doesn't answer.
		She hit her head -- Carry her in the house.

He lifts her up, carrying her into the house.
The KITCHEN: Jabez puts Mary into a chair.
		Fetch some water -- quick! 

Jabez rushes out to the pump while Ma tends to Mary.
The YARD: As Jabez comes out of the house with a bucket and hurries toward 
the pump, Shep, the dog, is seen by the corner of the house, his muzzle 
raised to the sky, howling dismally and strangely.
		Keep quiet, Shep.
He continues on the way to the well to fill the bucket, but Shep howls again.
			(calling from the kitchen door)
		What's ailing that dog?
			(at the well)
		I dunno.
		Well ... make him keep quiet.

 		And why should I? Let him howl if it makes him 
		feel good. 
			(with a sudden rush of bitterness) 
		Consarn it. He's better off than I am! I wish I 
		could tell Him... 
			(with an angry motion up to the sky) 
		... up there, just what I think.
		Hush up such talk, Jabez! 

		I can't help it. I mean it, I tell you. I've 
		had more than my share. Nothing ever goes right 
		for me -- nothing!
He draws up water quickly and returns to the house.

The KITCHEN: Jabez, enters with the bucket of water, and sets it down.

			(bending over Mary, tenderly)

			(coming out of her faint)
		Jabez ...
		Mary -- how do you feel?
		Let her be, son. She'll do all right. You 
		better get yourself straightened out.
		Yes, Jabez -- don't worry.
		I'll get the doctor.

		No, Jabez -- all I need is some rest -- You go 
		and pay our debt. Everything'll be all right 
		then ... everything.
Mary's eyes close and she sinks into sleep, while Jabez leaves for the barn. 

The BARN: Jabez takes a sack of seed, throws it on his shoulder. At this 
moment the sack opens and all the seed runs out into a dirty pool of water.

		That's enough to make a man sell his soul to 
		the devil! And I would, too, for about two 
He stops abruptly, realizing what he has said and appalled by it. He looks 
around him, fearfully.

		I guess nobody heard. I hope not.
Jabez jams his hands in his pockets and a horrified expression comes over his 
face. He slowly takes out his right hand. In the palm are two big copper 

				A VOICE 
			(speaking smoothly)
		Good evening, Neighbor Stone.
Jabez turns around and sees a figure -- well-dressed, looking rather like a 
salesman. Jabez stares at him, speechless.
		My name is Scratch -- I often go by that name 
		in New England.
		I don't want to have any business with you.
		Do you deny that you called me? I've known 
		people in other States who went back on their 
		word. But I didn't expect it in New Hampshire.
		You can't say that to me! I'm New Hampshire. 
		If I say I called you, I did. 
			(in a lower voice) 
		I guess I did.
		You've had a lot of bad luck these days. And 
		yet -- it's all so unnecessary. When I think of 
		your opportunities -- 
		Of course. Why man, you have one of the richest 
		farms in the county. 
			(as Jabez laughs bitterly, 
			Scratch persists)  
		You just go about it the wrong way -- so many 
		men do. Hard work -- well, that's all right for 
		people who don't know how to do anything else. 
		It's all right for people who aren't lucky -- 
		but once you're lucky -- you don't work for 
		other people. You make them work for you.

		Well, now, Mister, that sounds all right. But--
		A clever man like yourself -- he can find money 
		anywhere. Money to pay his bills -- money for 
		his wife and his children -- money to be a rich 
		man. All he needs is a friend to point it out 
		to him. 
			(kicks his suspiciously sharp 
			toe at a loose board in the barn) 
		Like that!
The board, rotten, gives way. Underneath it is an iron pot, filled with 
money. Scratch points down to it silently; Jabez looks at it, dumbfounded.
		Don't be afraid of it. Pick it up. Feel it in 
		your hands.
			(from outside) 
		Jabez Stone!

Jabez doesn't hear. He still stares at the gold.
		Someone's calling you, Mr. Stone.
Jabez looks up bewildered.
		Jabez Stone!
Jabez runs across the barn to the other door. Tom Sharp, Eli Higgins and Van 
Brooks are approaching, and Jabez stops them in the doorway.
		What do you want?
		Howdy, Mr. Stone. We've come round to ask you 
		if you made up your mind to join the Grange?
			(in a daze)
		What Grange?
 				TOM SHARP  
		That farmers' association -- we were talking 
		about the other day.

		That is, if you had time to mull it over, 

		No, no  I don't want to join! 
		Go away -- leave me alone.
 				TOM SHARP  
		Well -- we don't mean to force you, Jabez Stone 
		-- but -- it's only for your own good.
		I'll look out for myself! ... Now go away -- 
		leave me alone.
He stands for a moment looking after them as they turn and leave. Then he 
quickly rushes back to Scratch.
			(looking at the gold)
		Where did it come from?
		Oh, you know the old story -- the Hessian wagon 
		train that was ambushed on the way to Saratoga. 
		Some of the gold has been buried under your 
		Yes, why shouldn't it?
		Yes, of course, people forgot -- or the men who 
		knew about it died, you know how these things 

Jabez goes forward to pick up the gold. Scratch stops him. 

		It's mine?
		That's right, Mr. Stone -- there is -- 
			(whipping a paper from his pocket)  
		-- just one little formality. I'd like your 
		signature here -- see. And when it's done -- 
		it's done for seven years.  
			(as Jabez looks up) 
		It's our usual form. Of course -- we may be 
		able to take up the question of a renewal in 
		due time.
			(staring at the paper 
			Scratch holds before him)
		What does it mean here -- about my soul?
		Well, why should that worry you. A soul -- a 
		soul is nothing. Can you see it, smell it, 
		touch it? -- No! -- Think of it -- this soul 
		-- your soul -- a nothing, against seven whole 
		years of good luck! You will have money and all 
		that money can buy. Upon my word, Neighbor 
		Stone, if it weren't for my firm's reputation 
		for generous dealing--

He starts to put the paper away.

		No, no! Give it to me! 

			(taking a pin from his coat lapel)
		A pin, Neighbor Stone! I'm afraid, you'll have 
		to prick your finger -- but what's a little 
		pain to a lucky man?
Jabez takes the pin, pricks his finger and draws blood.
		Sign here.

Jabez signs.
		Excellent. A firm, fair signature. One that 
		will last till doomsday. 
			(tucking the deed away in his 
			pocketbook, then shaking Jabez's 
		My dear Neighbor Stone, I congratulate you! 
		You're going to be the richest man in New 
			(He starts to leave.)
		Well, I'll be --  
			(He stoops to pick up some gold.)
		Yes, indeed. But not now. Not for seven years. 
		Oh, I almost forgot -- what is the date?
		The seventh day of April -- 
		1840. Well, that'll take us to the seventh day 
		of April in 1847.
They start for the door together.
OUTSIDE THE BARN, the sunset fading from the sky: Jabez and Scratch stand by 
a stunted tree near the door.
		Just to remind you -- though of course we'll be 
		seeing each other in the interim --

He sweeps his five, very pointed fingers across the bark of the tree and 
suddenly there is a date upon it: "APRIL 7, 1847." Scratch moves toward his 
black buggy and black horse. They are just shadows in the weird light.
			(lifting his hat)
		Good evening, Neighbor Stone. 
			(he gets into the buggy) 
		A beautiful sunset, Mr. Stone.
Jabez stands with the gold in his hands as we hear the buggy wheels drive 
away, but we hardly can see it disappear; it becomes part of the twilight so 
Jabez, left alone, blinks as though waking from a fantastic dream. He looks 
down at the gold in his hands; and he brings a piece of it up before his eyes 
and stares at it, blinking again.

			(in a low voice)
			(the realization of his luck 
			coming over him in a wave) 
		Mary ... Mary ...Mary!
He rushes for the house. The dog, Shep, slinks out of the hall and follows 
Jabez, suddenly shaking off his fears and prancing by his master's side.
The KITCHEN in Jabez Stone's House: The lamps are lit. Mary is propped up in 
a chair by the fire, and Ma Stone is busy with supper. Jabez rushes over to 
Mary, so excited he cannot sit down. He tosses the gold pieces in Mary's lap. 
She is fingering them, amazed -- incredulous.
		Mary -- what would you do with a pot o' gold? 

		Mary -- what would you do?
		Well -- I -- I don't know -- I would pay our 
		debts and well -- maybe get a new bonnet, but 
		-- really -- I think I would live the same.
		Mary -- look! Hessian gold. I found it in the 
		You found it in the barn, hey?
		Yes -- I was getting the seed -- I stumbled -- 
		I saw one of the boards warped up a bit -- and 
		-- there it was.
			(skeptically as she carries plates 
			to the table)  
		Most outlandish thing I ever heard tell. 
			(as she thumps plates down on table) 
		Don't seem right, somehow!
		But it's true. Take 'em up in your hands, Mary 
		-- feel 'em -- they're real all right.  
			(as Mary just stares at her lap, 
			but does not touch the money) 
		Aren't you glad?
		I'll try hard -- I just can't take it all in.
			(taking up one of the gold pieces)
		H'm. Hessian gold. Well -- hope it'll do us 
		more good than it did the Hessians. 

She drops it.
		We'll none of us have to worry any more, Ma. 
		We're rich!  

He stoops down and kisses Mary.
			(at the fire)
		Well -- that's comforting! 
			(lifting the pot from the crane 
			and starting back toward the table 
			with it) 
		Say, Mary, how is your shoulder?
		It feels fine now, Jabez.
		Will you come into town with me tomorrow?
		I'd love to.
The scene fades out.
A ROAD fades in. It is next morning and a bright spring day and Jabez and 
Mary, both dressed for town, are riding in the buggy, en route to Cross 
Corners. As we follow them, Jabez is in high spirits, he is humming or 
whistling a little tune; Mary is, too, but with more reserve.
This view dissolves to CROSS CORNERS, MISER STEVENS' OFFICE, later in the 
day: The buggy stops in a whirl of dust, and as Jabez jumps out of the buggy, 
Sheriff Mays steps outside the office building.
		Hello, Sheriff.
		Hello, Jabez -- I was just talking to Stevens 
		about a little extension on your payment.
		And you didn't get it, hey? Come on, we'll have 
		another talk with him.
Jabez takes the Sheriff's arm and goes over to the office with him. As Jabez 
disappears through Stevens' door he turns and signals reassuringly to Mary 
and gives her an elaborate wink.
STEVENS' OFFICE: It is a bare, cold room with a small iron stove near the 
desk, a small iron safe, and a few severe chairs. A meager fire burns in the 
stove, no more than a few coals. Stevens is behind his desk, with various 
legal papers piled in front of him, and is looking craftily at the door from 
the street as it opens and the Sheriff enters, followed by Jabez.
			(closing the door and stepping 
			forward jauntily, as he mockingly 
			sweeps off his hat)
		Well, Stone -- have you got the money?
			(with mock humility)
		I barely managed to scrape up a bit for you. I 
		thought if I made a kind of part payment -- 
			(hard as granite)
		No, Stone!
		-- in gold.
		I'd like to know where you'd get it....
		You know -- some folks are just lucky. Others 
		pick gold right out of the air.  
			(reaching up over his head, as 
			though picking it from the air, 
			and flinging a gold piece on the 
		Like that!
			(grabbing for the gold piece as 
			it rolls on the desk and biting it)
		Real! Sheriff, you are a witness that this 
		money is paid me voluntarily, and while it 
		does not satisfy the mortgage, it has become 
		my property.
		Doesn't satisfy, eh? Well -- that's too 
He does another sly bit of hocus-pocus and extracts another gold piece, 
seemingly out of Stevens' nose, and flings that one down.
		Rake that one in, too.... 
			(flinging it down) 
		And this one -- and this one -- and that ...
He takes them out now, faster and faster flinging them down one after the 
other and laughing uproariously as Stevens scrambles for them.
			(stepping close to the desk)
		Count it -- count it! The Sheriff's here to 
He reaches out suddenly and grabs up a deed from Steven's desk. He glances at 
it; makes sure it is his; and deliberately tears it into bits and flings them
down on the desk.
		That makes everything clean now. Come on, 
He links arms with the Sheriff and goes out, leaving Stevens staring at one 
of the pieces of gold as he holds it on his wrinkled palm. He lets it fall to 
the desk, suddenly realizing he has seen that kind of gold before. With a 
motion of repulsion, he pushes the gold aside, moves back the top of his desk 
with a thrust of his trembling hand, and stares down on something that is 
written there.

There follows a close view (an insertion) of what Stevens sees: It is the 
present date: April 8, 1840, written in the same style of lettering Scratch  
used on the tree on Jabez's farm.
Then, the previous scene reappearing, we watch Stevens staring at it for a 
moment, then rising rather unsteadily and going quickly to his small iron 
safe. He opens it; snatches out some gold and some fat bundles of worn bills, 
and stuffing them into his pockets, leaves.
The scene dissolves to the EXTERIOR OF THE CHURCH AT CROSS CORNERS, a fine 
white New England structure opposite the village green. Stevens comes up the 
front steps, hurrying up, clutching his pockets, heavy with their burden of 
gold and currency, enters the VESTIBULE of the church, which now appears. It 
is a shadowy corner where there is a poor box or box for contributions to 
foreign missionaries. Stevens begins stuffing his money into the box. As he 
is thus engaged, a shadowy figure in a black frock coat appears in the 
doorway; starts to put his sharp-pointed foot over the threshold; then draws 
it back. He does not enter the church but speaks from the outside.
		What are you doing, Mister Stevens?
Stevens whirls about. He stands trembling, his head thrust forward.
			(stopping and cringing)
		I wanted to give it all to the church.
		My money? Why, Mister Stevens? What a quaint 
		idea. Come over to the door. I want to speak 
		to you privately. Stop throwing away that 
		money. We mustn't let people see any softness 
		in you, Mister Stevens.... People take 
		advantage of softness, you know. Come out of 
		there -- I'll give you an extension if you'll
		forget this stupid repentance idea.
			(coming out of the church)
		That isn't it. It's ... the loneliness, Mr. 
		Scratch ... the loneliness!
			(stroking his pointed chin 
			and chuckling softly)
		The loneliness? Lonely with all your gold, 
		Mister Stevens? That hardly makes sense.
			(under his breath)
		I want someone to talk to ...
		You can talk to me ...

		No, no ... 
			(beginning to whimper again)
		I want to talk to men ... to people in Cross 
		Corners my neighbors ...

		Why don't you?

 		I can't be honest with them.
		Oh, that's what you want -- well, you can be 
		perfectly honest with Jabez Stone -- now.
The scene dissolves to the COUNTRY STORE of Cross Corners, disclosing Jabez  
loading various things he has purchased on his buggy. Eddie, the store clerk, 
is coming out of the store with Jabez's bill in his hand.
		That certainly was a big day for our store, Mr. 
			(paying the bill)
		Here ...
			(handing Eddie an 
			extra gold piece) 
		... and this one is for you.
		Golly, Mr. Stone, I hope I stumble on a pot of 
		Hessian gold one day, myself.
As Eddie runs back into the store, Mary comes out, accompanied by Sarah.
			(indicating the bonnet)
		What do you think of that, Jabez?
		Looks right elegant, Mary.
			(fluttering around her)
		Newest thing by last fall catalogue and 
		"Godey's Ladies' Book."
		You don't think it looks too fancy? 

		Did you say too fancy? 

		Lan's to gracious, child, not for you!

		You take it -- nothing's too fancy for us ...
			(to Sarah)  
		Well -- maybe it wouldn't hurt -- to have a 
		few roses.
		Right pretty, Mary.
			(turning back to the store)
		I'll pick out a little shawl for Ma -- good 
		and serviceable.
			(calling after her)
		Take your time, Mary. I'll be back in half an 
Jabez leaves, and as Mary turns back she bumps into Eddie who is coming out 
of the store with a trumpet under his arm.
		Where are you going with your trumpet?
		Didn't you hear, Mrs. Stone? Daniel Webster 
		has promised to stop at Cross Corners today on 
		his way to Franklin.
		Daniel Webster -- here?
		Aren't you going to the reception?
The scene dissolves to the VILLAGE SQUARE in the late afternoon:  The whole 
village has collected here and we see quite a gathering.  The local fife-and-
drum corps is prominently in evidence, including at least one Revolutionary 
veteran, in buff and blue, with a pigtail. The Sheriff lines up the band and 
the spectators; the schoolmaster takes care of the children. The Squire 
stands in front of the band looking up at Eddie who practices on his trumpet.

		Eddie -- must you do that now?
		I want to get it right once before Mr. Webster 
			(joining them)
		What do you think, Mr. Squire, shall I find out 
		more about Jabez and his gold?
		You better find out about Mr. Webster -- he is 
		already more than an hour late -- can't 
		understand it.
He turns to the waiting crowd which is getting restless. He is almost about 
to speak when Eddie blows his trumpet again, causing the Squire to look at 
him exasperated.
		Don't worry, Mr. Squire, I'll get it yet.
		Friends, neighbors -- I beg you to have a 
		little more patience. So let's rehearse the 
		parade once more.
He turns to the bandleader, who gives the signal, whereupon the band starts 
The scene dissolves to a FIELD BEHIND THE BARN in the late afternoon, as 
Jabez arrives at the blacksmith's.
			(to a boy)
		Where is the blacksmith ?
		He's pitching horseshoes with Daniel Webster.
		With whom?
As Jabez turns, we see Daniel Webster and the blacksmith pitching horseshoes.
Small boys stand about, watching and cheering.
			(to his companion)
		Crazy galoot -- thinking he can take on Dan'l 
		Dan'l pitched shoes from his cradle, didn't 
		you, Dan'l?
		Yes, with my Granny, and she wasn't bad, either 
		--  Now, I'll really have to go. The people 
		must be waiting over at Cross Corners.
Webster has reached his buggy and there Scratch is holding up Webster's coat.
		It's only a short drive, Mr. Webster.
		Oh -- it's you again. What do you want?
		With the presidential election coming up, I 
		thought I could be of some help, sir.
		I'd rather see you on the side of the 
		I'll be there, too!

Just then Webster stops, looks back, and sees Jabez throwing a horseshoe.
		Say, that's pretty good, young man.
		Pretty good -- that's perfect! 

		Ten throws -- Mr. Webster?
		Ten throws it is.
The scene dissolves and reappears, indicating that some time has elapsed. A 
few more throws and Jabez has won the game. The farmers cheer.
			(Shaking Jabez's hand; very friendly)
		You win. Will you ride to the village with me, 
		Mr. Stone?
		Thank you, Mr. Webster.
The scene dissolves to the VILLAGE SQUARE, and as Webster drives his buggy 
down the slope, we suddenly see that the village square is empty -- not a 
soul is in sight. The people had apparently become tired of waiting for 
Webster and gone about their various duties. And now in WEBSTER'S BUGGY, as 
two buggies come down the slope, we see the amazed and then chagrined faces 
of the reception committee as they observe the deserted square.
			(smiling, his black eyes flashing 
			their lightning of humor to the 
			Squire at his side)
		I don't seem to be so very popular after all -- 
		in Cross Corners.

		Seems like it's my fault, Mr. Webster.
			(slapping his knee) 
		Not at all, lad -- not at all. 
			(with tongue in cheek) 
		For a good game of horseshoes I would always 
		sacrifice fame and acclaim.
Some boys jump off the rear of the buggy and dart away, calling out as they 
run in their shrill, piping voices.
			(one of the boys; running up 
			to the door of the inn)
		Black Dan'l's here!
The INN, which now appears, is filled with farmers and town people who were 
seen before waiting in the Square, and heavy drinking is going on as Martin 
goes up to the bar.
		Hey, Dan'l Webster's here!
In the SQUARE IN FRONT OF THE INN, the carriages now come to a stop as the 
tavern door opens and the host, Cy Bibber, round, red-faced, always a little 
mellow, rushes out with greetings and a good-sized cup of rum for the great 
Dan'l Webster, handed to him by Mr. Scratch. The Squire, red-faced, rushes up 
to the carriage.
		Welcome -- Mr. Webster -- welcome in Cross 

			(as he hands up 
			the cup to Webster)
		Your good health, sir.

			(taking it)
		What about my friends -- let's all have a drink  
		and a bumper one for the champion -- Mister 
		Right away, Mr. Webster. 

He bows and scrapes and is off immediately into the tavern.
			(sniffing the cup)
		Here's a man who knows what's good for Dan'l 
		Webster! Medford rum! Ah, a breath of the 
		Promised Land! 
			(he tastes it; and smacks his lips) 
		To the champion of the Iron Horseshoe, Jabez 
			(who in the meantime got his drink)
		Thanks, Mr. Webster! 
			(lifting up his cup)
		To the champion of the whole United States -- 
		Dan'l Webster! 

Cheers, and they all drink. At this moment, however, young Martin, stepping 
up to the buggy, begins scrutinizing Webster.
		What are you looking for, Colonel?  
			(as Martin doesn't answer) 
		What's your name?
		Martin Van Buren Aldrich and my Pa's the only 
		Democrat in Cross Corners. He said you had 
		horns and a tall, Mr. Webster, but I ain't 
		seen 'em yet.
		Well, Martin, I only wear them in Washington -- 
		that's the trouble. But if you ever come down
		there, I'll show them to you.
		Gee, would you, Mr. Webster? Honest?
		Of course. And you tell your father for me -- 
		we may be on opposite sides of the fence, but 
		I'm always glad to hear of a man who holds to 
		his own opinions. As long as people do that -- 
		the country's all right. Do you understand, 
		Yes, sir -- I guess I do -- Gee --

		Speech, Mr. Webster -- speech -- 
Webster, Jabez, and the Squire, Schoolmaster and Sheriff are still drinking, 
and Cy Bibber is giving another cup to Webster. It is obvious that Webster, 
in a very pleasant way, is a little under the weather, for he slumps down in 
the front seat of the buggy, holding the cup a little unsteadily in his hand. 
Voices in the crowd begin calling:
		Speech, Black Dan'l. Speech! 

		They're asking for a speech, Mr. Webster.

		Speech? -- Oh, no -- I'm a little tired, 
		Slossum. And, besides, it's so pleasant here -- 
		in the sun. 
			(he stretches out his legs and 
			settles down on the small of his back)  
		Your sun and air are very pleasant in Cross 

He smiles and closes his eyes with a deep sigh.
		-- but -- Mr. Webster --  

He looks helplessly around at the others.
			(to the Squire)  
		You tell them -- 
			(from the crowd)
		Speech, Dan'l Webster! Speech!

	 		(helplessly to the Committee)
		What are we going to do, Gentlemen?
Suddenly, Jabez, who realizes the state Webster is in, moves away from the 
buggy; and jumps up on the tavern steps. He holds up his hands to the crowd. 
They gradually stop calling and give him their attention. 

			(beginning with a frog in his 
			throat, scared by his own 
		Listen, folks -- Folks, I want to say -- Folks, 
		I -- I don't know much about speechifying --  
			(swallowing dryly)
		-- but I feel it my duty -- 
There is an expectant silence, and Jabez, still scared, looks out at the 
crowd  and gropes for further words.
At this point we get a fairly close view of Mary in the crowd. She is 
standing next to a tall, thin woman, Susannah Orr.
			(looking off at Jabez)
		What's the matter with him? Cat got his tongue?
		Hush up, Susannah.
		Jabez is a smart farmer. But making tall 
		speeches's different. Kin he do it?
		Of course he can -- I mean he never has -- but 
		-- Oh, can't you keep quiet!

Now we get a close view of Jabez Stone, still standing on the steps of the 
			(continuing his speech)
		Well, folks -- what I want to say is -- well, 
		when a man like Dan'l Webster visits us -- we 
		shouldn't ask him for a speech -- it is for us 
		-- to speak, to tell him that we farmers thank 
		our lucky stars every day in the year for what 
		Dan'l Webster's done for us. If anybody's got 
		corn in his crib and hay in his barn, it's all
		due to our good neighbor, Dan'l Webster, who 
		stood right up in Congress to protect us from 
		loan sharks by a new law. And after hard work 
		like that, it's only natural Dan'l Webster 
		gets tired. He's tired of making speeches and 
		just wants a little rest in the sunshine -- 
		and, folks, if he don't choose Cross Corner's 
		sunshine to rest in! Now that's mighty fine! 
		And I want to say this before I quit talking.  
		We're hoeing corn in Franklin County, all due, 
		like I says, to Dan'l Webster, and we'll keep 
		on hoeing it till he's in the White House in 
		Washington -- where he belongs.  

Jabez bows and steps down from steps and is rewarded with applause and 
cheering. Webster has been soundly asleep but now he opens his eyes. He 
smiles at Jabez and stretches out his open hand. Jabez grips it, looking 
			(still a little drowsy)
		Eloquent speech, Neighbor Stone -- couldn't 
		have done better myself -- 
			(with a sly smile)  
		-- under the circumstances. 
			(he squeezes his hand) 
		Thank you.
		Mr. Webster -- I'd like you to meet my wife, 
		Well -- I'll be -- if it isn't little Mary 
		Sampson from Franklin.
		It is.
			(putting out his hand to Mary)
		You've got a smart man, Mrs. Stone. Hang onto 
			(as they shake hands)
		 -- I'm going to try, Mr. Webster.

She blushes; then pauses.
		That's fine -- 
			(then picking up horses' reins) 
		Well -- I'm getting on to Franklin before night. 
		Good-bye, Mary -- Good-bye, Jabez -- God bless 
		both of you -- Good-bye, everybody and thank 

He raises his hand to the crowd. They begin to cheer. The horses start 
trotting off. Now, the band in a last minute rush comes and plays a farewell 
tune for the departing Webster. Webster turns and waves as the crowd goes on 
cheering. Jabez and Mary stand together, waving good-bye.
The STEPS IN FRONT OF THE INN: The Squire and the others are about to enter 
the inn.
		Coming along, Jabez?
			(to Mary)
		Shall we?
		We must go on home, Jabez.
		Yes, Mary. 
			(with a self-satisfied 
			sigh and stretch) 
		It's been a long day.
The scene dissolves to the WASHINGTON ARMS TAVERN BARROOM, where we find the 
Squire, the Sheriff, the Schoolmaster, and a few other men. They have all 
been drinking heavily, even the host, Cy Bibber, who is not behind the bar 
where he should be. Instead, in his place is Scratch, smoothly and very  
efficiently mixing and serving the drinks.
		Another drink, Sheriff?
		I want to make a toast -- 
			(holding up cup that 
			Scratch fills again) 
		-- a toast to Dan'l Webster -- greatest man -- 
		in whole United States! 

Others cheer thickly and drink.
		Excellent, Mr. Bibber, excellent -- and I'd 
		like to make another one. 
			(raising his cup) 
		To Jabez Stone -- who so ably today supported 
		the -- 
			(slurring it) 
		Great Dan'l Webster! -- Sometimes people don't 
		recognize great men in their own community.
			(to the Squire)
		Did you hear, Squire Slossum?
		Mr. Stone? -- a great man? -- Well, now -- I -- 
		he seems to be a little overbearing -- driving 
		in Mr. Webster's carriage. No -- I am not so 
		sure about him.
 			(to the Squire)
		Another rum, Squire Slossum.
		-- Well -- I -- I don't know -- 

		What? You don't know? --
		Well, just one more -- and this is the last 
The scene dissolves to the MAIN STREET OF CROSS CORNERS, dark and silent. The 
lights are out in the houses. From out of the tavern, their arms locked 
together, come the figures of Scratch, the Squire, Sheriff, Cy Bibber and the 
Schoolmaster. Scratch is in the middle.
We follow them as they weave in an unsteady line down the dark street. Softly 
they chant in their mellowed, dulcet tones, as the scene dissolves.
		We want Jabez Stone! -- for selectman -- Jabez 
		Stone! Jabez Stone!
JABEZ STONE'S BEDROOM, a small room under the slope of the eaves: It is still 
that night. The lamp is lit. There is a big, fourposter New England bed with 
a canopy and patchwork quilts. Jabez and Mary are preparing for bed, Mary is 
finishing braiding her hair and Jabez is taking off his shoes.
			(still in the dream)
		Remember, Mary, how he said it: "Couldn't have 
		done better myself, Jabez Stone," and it was my 
		first speech. I don't know what came into me, 
		Mary. I just stood up and the words came 
		flowing like water out of my mouth.
			(having said this 
			many times since)
		Oh, Jabez -- it was a wonderful day --

A pause. She finishes with her hair and begins to unbutton her dress.
		But I'm glad to be home again --

			(looking up at her)


		There is nothing to worry about now.
		You'll never change -- will you?

		Mary -- you just wait and see -- It's all -- 
		just the beginning -- just the beginning -- of 
		everything. I'll be the biggest man in New 
		Hampshire and you'll be the wife of the biggest 
But now Shep is barking in the yard. Jabez turns from Mary and goes toward 
the window to open it, unbuttoning his shirt. We get a close view of Jabez at 
the window as he opens it and the curtain flutters in the breeze that smells 
of earth. We see the new moon from Jabez's angle, just sinking over the sharp 
		Quiet, Shep -- 
			(taking in a deep breath) 
		It's a new moon, Mary -- 
		Yes, I know, Jabez -- a new moon. And I saw it 
		over my right shoulder, too. That means good 
		luck -- for both of us.
		Yes -- we are rich -- 
			(after a pause)
		There's hope and promise in it, Jabez --  
		Planting and promise of good harvest to come.
			(taking another deep breath)
		Yes -- you are right, Mary. I can almost hear 
		the little blades of grass a-starting up --
		All the seeds a-stirring underneath the 
		ground -- 
			(after a pause, softly)
		Don't take cold, Jabez. 
			(after another pause) 
		Come -- it's warm in here.
The lamp is blown out and the room becomes dark, except for the thin light of 
the moon. Jabez's figure is bathed in it for a moment. He turns from the 
window, just as the unmistakable figure of Scratch is seen, watching from the 
shadow of a tree, but Jabez has no eyes for him now.
In the gentle glow of moonlight, Jabez's tall figure is seen going toward the
bed, while Mary is lying under the covers, her face turned to him on the 
pillow, waiting.
		Mary -- 
		Jabez --

He kisses her, then reaches out and touches the very edge of the bed as the 
scene fades out.
A HILLSIDE FIELD back of the Stone house fades in. It is just before noon 
next day, and Jabez is doing his spring plowing. The horse is old and so is 
the plow, but we should get some feeling of the essential strength and beauty 
of earth here -- and of Jabez's real kinship with it -- his stride across the 
furrows and the feeling of his feet honestly gripping the good earth. Then a 
closer view picks out Jabez plowing and now a horn is heard blowing from the 
house; it is a horn used to call men in from the fields. Thereupon Jabez 
stops and goes to the house.
The KITCHEN-SIDE of the Stone House, near the porch: As Jabez and Ma Stone 
come up, Mary, sleeves rolled back, is fresh from her washtub.
 			(seeing Jabez)
		Oh, Jabez -- I hated to call you from spring 
		plowing, but--
The Squire, his wife, Lucy, Schoolmaster Phipps and the Sheriff: The Squire, 
Sheriff and Schoolmaster all look suspiciously bleary and are suffering from 
headaches. The Squire, in particular, looks unfortunate, being so pompous 
		Why -- good morning, Squire.
		Morning, Jabez.
		'Morning, Jabez.
		'Morning, Mrs. Slossum.
		Ahem -- we want to have a little confidential 
		talk with you, Neighbor Stone. Don't like to 
		take a man away from his planting -- but 
		sometimes -- 
		Come right into the parlor, won't you, folks.

			(displaying her new shawl, proudly, 
			now that there is distinguished 
			company. She is smoothing the part 
			in her hair)  
		Well -- Lucy Slossum! Come right in with us, 
		won't you?
		Thanks, Mrs. Stone.
They go into the house.
The STONE PARLOR: It is a frigid place, with sparse, unfriendly furniture and 
a horse-hair memorial to a departed Stone on the wall. The place might well 
be a marble vault. Jabez ushers the Squire, Sheriff and Schoolmaster into it. 
They sit down uncomfortably on hard chairs, shivering a bit.
		Mighty good of you to come out, Squire -- 
		sparing all this time to -- 
			(looking at others suspiciously) 
		Sheriff, too -- and Schoolmaster -- mighty 
		Ahem -- Neighbor Stone, we want--
His head is killing him. The Sheriff and the Schoolmaster are not happy, 
		Headache -- Squire?
		Worst I had in years -- ahem -- starting a
		spring cold, I guess -- er -- don't happen to 
		have a bit of camomile tea in the house, do 
		you, Stone?
		Camomile tea!
The STONE KITCHEN: Mary, now trimmed up a bit for company, but still flushed 
and steamed-looking, is sitting with Lucy Slossum and Ma Stone. Jabez enters 
from the parlor.
		Mary, get three cups of camomile tea for the 
		Squire and the rest. They all feel colds coming 
		I'll get it, Jabez.
		Thanks, Mary.
He goes back to the parlor, and Mary goes to cupboard and gets down jug of 
cider and some cups.

		Poor Henry, he's suffering mighty sharp. Had an 
		important committee meeting last night, and 
		didn't get home till midnight. I was asleep, of  
		course, that late, but this morning -- My! --
		There's one thing good for that kind of 
		headache. Let me show you.
The STONE PARLOR:  The Squire has managed to get to his feet and is speaking 
		And so, Jabez Stone, in the name of the Whig 
		Party of Cross Corners, we offer you the 
		nomination of that party for Selectman.
		Selectman? Selectman of the village? Me?

The Sheriff and the Schoolmaster clap their hands.
		Fine speech you made yesterday, Jabez. Shows 
		you've got the stuff.
		New blood -- and old stock. 

		But -- I was just lucky.

		Well? Don't a politician have to be?
		It seems such an obvious candidature to us all.
			(taking a deep breath)
		Very well, folks. I accept.
		Good! That's the right New Hampshire stuff! Now 
		-- ahem -- if we could make a little toast to 
		that effect.
			(entering with cups on a tray)
		Here, Jabez --
			(taking the tray)
		Mary! I'm -- Selectman of Cross Corners!
			(looking at him, frightened and as 
			though she has suddenly lost him)
		Oh -- Jabez.
She turns and runs from the room. Jabez turns and looks after her. Then he 
shrugs, turns back to the men, and begins passing out cups to them.
			(holding up his cup)
		To our new Selectman, Jabez Stone!
They drink taking it down in one thirsty gulp, and smack their lips. 
Suddenly, all three who drank look at each other -- strange, foiled looks 
coming over their faces. Their lips pucker up.
		I'll be blowed -- nanny-plum laxative tea!
They all look, bewildered, at Jabez.
The KITCHEN: Ma and Mrs. Slossum are looking over a box filled with paper 
slips -- recipes.
		And if this doesn't do it, then you try this 
		Thank you -- Ma Stone.
			(entering with the 
			tray of empty cups)
		Oh, Mrs. Slossum, they are all leaving -- you 
		better hurry up if you don't want to stay here.
Mrs. Slossum swallows her last piece of pie -- wipes her fingers and rushes 
		Good-bye, Ma Stone. Good-bye, Mary, and thanks 
		for everything.
			(who has looked into the 
			cups Mary brought in)
		They really finished it, and to the last drop 
		-- my, my.
She goes to the window where we see the buggy leaving with all the visitors 
in it.

		You know, Ma, why the Squire came to see Jabez?

		Yes, Mrs. Slossum told me -- Lucy can't even 
		keep a secret -- Selectman -- my son -- well, 
		who would have thought of that?
			(who has by now entered the 
			room and heard Ma's speech)
		You could have knocked me down with a feather 
		-- Selectman -- me.
			(who doesn't want to talk about 
			it, for fear she might cry)
		I'll never get my washing done.
		That's one thing I want to talk to you about, 
			(with a curtsy)
		Yes, Mr. Selectman!
		I'm serious.

		It's very becoming to you, Mr. Selectman.
		But it's not very becoming to you to have your 
		hands in the suds -- when the Squire and his 
		wife -- 
		But Jabez -- the washing has to be done -- 
		Well -- that's the last time -- we'll have 
		servants to do it.
		No, no. I don't want to be idle. 

		And I don't want to have a washwoman for a wife.

		Well, son, I'm glad to see a Stone come up in 
		the world again.
		Now look here, Ma. I'm not a boy anymore. I 
		want that understood. I don't aim to stay a 
		one-horse farmer the rest of my life. Mary's 
		got to be the kind of wife a -- a big man 
		needs -- 
		Jabez -- once you said we'd never change -- 
		I wasn't used to being big -- wasn't used to 
		thinking in big ways. Now, I've made up my 
He leaves, the two women looking after him, thoroughly puzzled.
The YARD of the Stone Farm: Jabez, coming from the kitchen, sees Hank, a 
neighboring farmer, lingering about. (It is day.)
		Howdy, Jabez.
		Howdy, Hank.
			(meekly, with a feeling of apology)
		Kin you spare a moment for me Jabez?
		Why, of course, Hank -- I've always got time 
		for a neighbor. What's on your mind?
		Well -- here's how it is ...Tom Sharp, Eli 
		Higgins and a couple of others been talking to 
		me about -- that new sort of organization -- 
		grange they call it. What you think about it?
		I don't know -- don't seem much of an idea to 
		Yes, but what does a farmer do if he don't want  
		to get roped in some more by them loan sharks?
		Oh -- you don't have to go to Miser Stevens 
		while I'm around.
		Don't I? ... Say, that's mighty white of you, 
		Not at all, Hank ... not at all. Glad to help 
		Thanks, Jabez -- I really wouldn't need very 
		much ... if you could let me have some seed to 
		start off with enough for spring planting ...
		Seed? ... Easiest thing in the world. Come 
		along, Hank, we'll pick out everything you 
		need, right now.
They walk toward the barn.
		Say ... about the interest ...
		Now don't you worry about that. You just leave 
		it all to me. We won't talk business now ... 
		just bear this in mind ... I'm not the man to 
		get rich on other people's hard luck.... No, 
		sir... not me! ...
They enter the barn.
		I been through the mill myself, an' I know 
		just how you feel. Here ...
In the BARN, Jabez bends over the seed bin, Hank standing beside him.
		Here, that's the best seed you'll find anywhere 
		around New Hampshire.
And as the seed runs through Jabez's hand the scene dissolves to a series of 
views ("montage shots") of the STONE FARM by day: We see it prospering under 
the skies of late spring and then summer. We see all the stony fields 
blossoming ... the little blades of green starting from the earth; the corn 
growing thick and mighty high in one field ... the barley rank and heavy-
headed in another. We see a fine new bull being led to the barn, and two new 
cows. The corn and barley stand ripe and golden in Jabez's fields.
This dissolves to the BEDROOM on a late afternoon: Mary, her eyes closed, is 
lying on the fourposter bed. She is fully dressed. Her bosom rises and falls 
in the breathing of gentle sleep. Jabez has just come in. His hair is 
boyishly rumpled. His face, however, seems more mature and serious with a 
growing self-importance.
			(in a whisper)
		Mary ...
He stops on seeing her asleep and turns away from the bed. He starts back 
toward door; turns to the bed again; comes back to it and pulls the patchwork
quilt up over Mary, covering her. Then he tiptoes out.
In the KITCHEN Ma Stone sits by the fireplace, knitting. She readjusts her 
spectacles and squints a bit. Jabez enters, having come downstairs again, and 
paces up and down the room.
		It won't be the first baby ever born in this 
			(fumbling with her knitting) 
		There! Made me drop a stitch! 
			(as Jabez continues his pacing) 
		Sit down, you make me nervous! 
			(But he doesn't sit) 
		Lan's, that's the way a man always is. Thinks 
		his son's the most important thing in the 
		My son! Do you really think, Ma....
		Oh, go along with you! As if it mattered to a 
		grandma! But p'raps you got an even chance.
There is a sudden blink of lightning at the window.

		Looks like a storm, all of a sudden. Hope it 
		won't wake Mary.
She lights a lamp.
			(looking out the window)
		Queer sort of weather we're having -- queer 
		like everything else.
		Well, thank the Lord you can always depend on 
		New England for weather. We've got enough for 
		the whole United States.
		I feel -- fidgety, Ma -- not right at all.

		Lan's, I'd think you was having the baby, to 
		hear you.
			(after a pause)
		Me -- a son.
He pauses and glances at the window as though somebody might be there looking 
in at him. He sees only the dark clouds and the racked tree on which his doom 
is carved. He speaks out of his fears:
		Money -- money's a funny thing, ain't it, Ma? 

		I figure that depends a mite on how you get it 
		and how you spend it, Son.
		Do you really think that?
		Why, that's just sense, Son. Now a man like 
		Daniel Webster -- guess they pay him high for 
		what he does. But he's worth it -- and he helps 
		others. Makes all the difference.
		I know, Ma, but -- Suppose a man got his money 
		in bad ways -- 
			(with a snap of her jaws)
		Wouldn't profit him none. 
Jabez is glancing again at the darkened window when there is a flash of 
lightning, as though mocking him.
		You see, son? I'm old and I've lived. When a 
		man gets his money in bad ways -- when he sees 
		the better course and takes the worse -- then 
		the devil is in his heart -- and that fixes 
		Ma -- and yet, a man could change that, 
		couldn't he?
		A man can always change things, Son. That's 
		what makes him different from barnyard 
Jabez, having stared out of the window at the racked tree, now heads with 
determination for the door.
		Where you going, Son?
But Jabez does not heed her and goes out silently.
OUTSIDE THE STONE FARM: Dark clouds are rolling up steadily and there are 
occasional flashes of distant lightning.
We follow Jabez as he hastens along and comes up to the racked tree. He looks 
about him, rather furtively, taking care not to be seen, then takes out a 
large pocket knife and attempts to gouge out the date that Scratch had fixed 
on the tree. But he finds that the lettering is too deep and makes no headway. 
And, giving up the attempt, Jabez determines on something else. He rushes to 
the barn.
Now Jabez enters the BARN and hunts about. He finds an ax and is about to 
start out to attack the tree again when the drumming of a great burst of hail 
is heard on the roof and sheets of it are seen falling outside the barn door. 
The pellets of hail are enormous. Then, as Jabez stops and whirls about, 
Scratch emanates from the shadows, or is suddenly revealed in a flash of 
lightning, standing calm, suave and smiling.
		Good evening, Neighbor Stone. 

		Look here now--
		Oh come, Neighbor Stone. I wouldn't cut that 
		tree if I were you. It means a breach of 
		I don't care.
		But you should, now that you are becoming a 
		Leave your tongue off of that!
		Oh, certainly. I shan't even come to the 
		christening -- it would be tactless and in 
		wretched bad taste. 
		But I may send a friend of mine -- just for old 
		sake's sake. Yes, I might do that. 

He strokes his chin thoughtfully.
			(outside, calling)
		Jabez! Jabez!
		Your mother! I find her a little difficult -- 
		hardly the type for our sort of thing.
			(stepping back)  
		Good night, Neighbor Stone.
Scratch bows and leaves, almost imperceptibly, through the rear door; one 
moment he is there, the next he is gone, leaving Jabez staring after him. The 
hail continues to fall. The cattle come out of their trance-like silence. The 
horse stamps. Jabez goes toward the warped board where the money is hidden  
when Ma Stone enters through the front door. Over her head she holds an old 
coat to protect her from the hail.
		Oh, here you are, Jabez. Lan's, I was worried 
		about you.... Hail in August! The crops will 
		be ruined!
		It don't matter!
		What's that you say, Son? 

		I say -- it don't matter.
			(also greatly relieved)
		Now that's the way to talk, Son! I know you 
		worked hard for that crop. But we'll make out.
		Make out? We'll do better than that!  I never 
		thought I'd be glad for bad luck, but I am. I 
		never thought I'd be glad of a hail storm at 
		harvest time, but I am! Oh, bless ye the works 
		of the Lord in the hail and the storm and the 

Ma Stone nods again, lips still pursed. Hail drums loudly on the roof. 
Twilight has dropped outside and it is dark.
The scene dissolves to JABEZ STONE'S CORNFIELD early next morning: We see not 
only Jabez's cornfield but the fields of neighboring farmers, farther down 
the slope and up the valley. In the bright light of the glistening morning, 
Jabez's field of corn stands straight and high, the golden banners waving in 
the breeze, unscathed by the devastating hail of the night before. But in 
tragic contrast, the neighbors' fields are laid low to the earth, pelted down
into worthlessness. Jabez, Mary and Ma stand by the stone fence, near the 
road, staring in wonder at the miracle of their standing corn.
		Ruined -- all the fields -- ruined. 
			(kneels down as in prayer)
		Mary -- but look -- it didn't touch an ear of 
		my corn -- we'll have a rich harvest.

		For unto everyone that hath shall be given -- 
		and he shall have abundance.

Jabez, lifting his head, looks at her with a sudden and unpredictable 
		That's right, Ma!
As he stands there, silent under the bright morning, two farmers, owners of 
the blasted fields beyond, pass him on the road, going down to their fields. 
They walk with a discouraged slump to their shoulders and lagging steps. As 
they come up to Jabez he greets them.
		Helloh, Hank -- halloh Lem --
But they don't answer. They raise their eyes and look at him, and then at his 
prosperous field and then back at him again. Their eyes seem to bore through 
him with a burning accusation, and they hardly nod their heads in greeting as 
they trudge on. Jabez looks after them, conscience-stricken. Then he turns 
abruptly and starts back toward his farmhouse.
At the "WASHINGTON ARMS" TAVERN later that day. A group of farmers is 
congregated in corners where the bar is located. Some of the farmers we have 
seen before are there -- Lem, Noah, Tom Sharp, and others we have not seen, 
keep on drifting in. Cy Bibber, the host and bartender, is serving drinks.

			(at the bar)
		Charge me up for another rum, Cy. Only way I 
		kin forget my troubles.

		Sorry, Lem, but I'll have to count my pennies, 

			(to Bibber)
		Let him have one more -- on me. 
			(to Lem) 
		You'd think Stone's standing in good with 
		Providence, somehow.

		My corn's no more use than a last year's crow's 

		Maybe you'd let me help you out a bit.

		Seems like someone's giving us the horse-laugh.
		Guess you're ripe and ready now to join our 
		Grange, eh, boys?
		Now wait a moment, folks ... I can make you 
		some better terms.
At this point Scratch, in farmer's clothes, enters and comes to the bar.

		Howdy. -- Never did see such a hail! Big as 
		bowling balls out my way. Broke all the winders 
		an' nearly killed the cat. I'll have cider --  
			(turning to the others) 
		Boys, I'm here with an offer from Jabez Stone.
		What's that?
		Well -- seeing as how due to yesterday's hail, 
		nobody's got nothing to harvest in his own 
		fields, Jabez says maybe you could help him 
		harvest his.
There is a pause as the farmers look at each other uncomfortably. They feel 
the humiliation of this, but they know they are in no position to refuse.
		Never worked fer anybody else in my whole life,
		'ceptin' when I was a shaver, and that was for 
		my old man.

		I wouldn't do it.
		Well -- dunno -- I'll think it over.
			(with a smile)
		What's there to think about, boys? Here's a 
		dollar in advance for every one who will work 
		for Jabez. 

He throws down money on the bar.
And now STONE'S FIELDS come to view. The farmers are cutting and shocking 
Jabez's bumper corn crop -- Seth, Lem, Noah, Tom Sharp, and others. Jabez 
rides through the fields on his sleek new horse, watching his neighbors 
harvest his crops. He shows a certain condescension toward them which is akin 
to arrogance.
Another view of Jabez's fields discloses the harvest, in great bursting 
wagons, rolling into the barn. The big new barn is fast approaching 
completion. The wagons keep on rolling into the barn, watched over by Jabez 
like a Lord of the Manor. Not only is Jabez harvesting corn and hay but  
autumn fruits, too, in abundance.
The scene then dissolves to the OUTSIDE BEDROOM in the evening while faint 
festive music is heard -- simple folk-music played on fiddle, fife and banjo 
mostly. It is coming from Jabez's new barn where the harvest festival is in 
full swing. Outside is the great red harvest moon, just rising. Jabez goes to 
the closed door and listens, putting his ear against it. He makes as though 
to rap on the door, but changes his mind. He walks away again, digging his 
hands in his pockets, and paces back and forth. Suddenly, Ma Stone opens the 
			(rushing to help) 
		Ma -- is she? --
		You'll be a father any minute now.
		Golly, Ma -- 
			(as music from barn swells up) 
		Consarn that music! Shouldn't a-had the 
		harvest festival tonight.
		Fiddlesticks! She don't hear it. Got better 
		music to listen to than that. 
			(as there is the sudden cry 
			of a newlyborn child) 
		There -- that's what I mean.
Jabez stands spellbound as the strident cry of the child drowns out the music 
of the dance, and Ma Stone turns back into the room. Presently, Jabez, on 
tiptoes, moves to the room, frightened and trembling.
The scene dissolves to the OTHER BEDROOM at night. Mary is lying in a 
fourposter bed. A maid, typically New England, and the doctor are there. The 
doctor is just placing the baby, wrapped up in blankets, beside Mary and 
prepares to leave. Things necessary to a birth are about the room -- kettle 
and basin of hot water, towels, and other articles. Mary looks down from her 
pillow at her baby, parting the cocoon of covers to see its tiny, wrinkled 
face. Jabez tiptoes up to the bed.
		Mary -- 
			(smiling up at him weakly)
		Hello, Jabez --  
			(after a pause) 
		Here's your son.
Jabez, too emotional to speak, stares down at the baby, a suspicion of 
moisture in his eyes. Mary closes her eyes, weakly but happily. Ma Stone, 
watching Mary anxiously, speaks in whisper to the maid.
		Fetch a bed warmer, Dorothy.
The maid nods and goes out. Jabez still stands looking down on the baby as 
the doctor is putting things back in his bag. Jabez takes up the baby, 
awkwardly, as though handling something made of glass, and steps to the 
window that looks out on the new barn. He raises the window and the music 
comes floating into the room. He leans from window, holding the baby high in 
his arms.
The NEW BARN at night (seen from Jabez's angle): There is a view of the front 
barn door, thrown open, providing a glimpse of the merrymakers inside, 
dancing. Groups, bathed in the light of the moon, stand near the door, 
talking and laughing.
			(calling down, boyishly)
		Hey! Look, everybody! Look here! It's a boy!
The group at the door stands transfixed for a moment, then they begin to 
		Hurray for Jabez Stone! More good luck for 
		Jabez Stone! Hurray! Jabez Stone and his new 
The good word travels into the barn. Others crowd to the door. Musicians 
swing into something gay and triumphant. Cups of cider are passed about. They 
drink to Jabez and the new boy -- and to Mary Stone.
			(behind Jabez)
		Lan's, shut that window, Jabez! Want him to 
		catch his death of cold?
She takes the baby away from him.
			(a little sheepishly)
		Well -- I -- I-
		Don't be cross with him, Ma. This don't happen 
		every day.
Ma Stone puts the baby down beside Mary again, in the curve of her arm. Mary 
opens her eyes; she smiles weakly and snuggles her cheek down against the 
baby. The baby cries and she hushes it.
		You go down and see what's keeping Dorothy. 

		Sure, Ma.
He hurries past the doctor, still collecting his things; he pats him on the 
shoulder, as man to man.

			(as he goes out)
		Thanks, doctor.
The KITCHEN: In front of the fireplace, with her back turned to the door, a 
woman is standing. She is looking into the fire, seemingly musing over the 
blinking coals. Jabez comes hurriedly downstairs.
			(bursting in)
		Dorothy -- what's keeping you so long? Mary 
		needs that -- 
He stops and looks intently. The woman turns slowly and looks him straight in 
the eye. She is a young, slender woman, with a strange, sultry prettiness; 
she is externally demure but underneath there is a definite feeling of 
seething fire like the coals in the fireplace. She is simply dressed but 
still better dressed than any woman we have yet seen in the picture.
			(taken aback)
		You're not -- Dorothy.
			(quietly, in a low toned, musical 
			voice -- unhurried and deliberate)
		No. She's gone.
			(looking about incredulous)
		She couldn't be gone!
		But she is -- I've taken her place. Don't you 
		remember -- you wrote me a letter. Mrs. Stone 
		was too ill.
She digs down into the bosom of her gown and produces a letter. She shows it 
to him. Jabez stares at it.
		It -- it looks like my hand.
She lets the letter drop from her hand and it twirls into the fire where it 
flares up abruptly.
		I have other recommendations, too, from a very 
		good friend of yours. 

She makes a movement as if to produce them from the same place.
		Never mind. What's your name? 

		Belle --

		Belle Dee. I'm from over the mountain.
			(as if hypnotized)
		From over the mountain -- 
Jabez continues to look at her and she holds his eye, steadily.

			(calling down the stair)
		Jabez! Jabez!

Belle turns to the fireplace to fill the warming pan with coal. 

		I'll take it.

		No -- that's for me to do.
She starts for the door passing on her way up Ma Stone who has gone to show 
the doctor out.

The BEDROOM as Belle enters the room with the pan:
			(out of a dream)
		Jabez -- ?

			(her voice very gentle and soothing)
		I've brought you something to keep you warm, 
		Mrs. Stone -- 
Belle props up Mary's pillows, making them more comfortable, and puts the bed 
warmer in place. Mary simply stares at her. Instinctively her arm tightens 
about her little son. The music from the harvest festival is heard from 
		You're not resting well, are you? I know -- 
		it's that music. 
			(she closes the window) 
		You need your sleep. Is there anything else you 
			(very gratefully)
		No, thank you -- what's your name? 

		Belle -- 

		Thank you, Belle --

She leaves as Ma Stone comes in.

			(dreamily, as her eyes close)
		What a nice -- and kind girl --  Who is she --?

		The new girl -- Jabez says; she is from over 
		the mountain.

		What mountain? 

Then her voice trails off and she sinks into sleep.

The NEW BARN: The fodder bins and loft spaces are stuffed with the fruits of 
the harvest. It is a very large barn, representing the prosperity of Jabez 
Stone. Now it is brightly lit by lantern light and is decorated with sheaves 
of barley, tall stalks of corn, pumpkins and golden leaves from the autumn 
woods. The platform for the musicians is at the other end of the barn, and a 
refreshment table, where cider is being served, is on one side of the wall. 
On the opposite side are tables, groaning with food  -- cakes, pies, cold 
meats, sausages, chickens, ducks, etc.

A square dance is just beginning, as Belle appears, moving gracefully through 
the gay crowd. She has found a gay shawl to drape about her shoulders -- an  
exotic shawl that might have come into New Hampshire from the cargo of a 
clipper ship, smelling of the Far East and dark ports of call. Everybody is 
having a good time except Miser Stevens who sits gloomily in a corner. Near 
the musicians' stand, where couples are gathering for the next dance, the 
fiddler is Mr. Scratch, and as he looks down at Belle, he tucks his fiddle 
under his sharp chin and begins to play, very softly. Belle stands, her hands 
loosely clasped on her hips. Jabez comes up behind her.                                                

		Let's dance together -- Belle.
			(turning slowly)
		No, Jabez -- your place is with your wife --  

She smiles. The fiddler plays a little louder and the other musicians pick up 
the tune. Belle dances forward, alone, and is leading the couples as they 
start to dance.

		Faster -- faster -- 

Scratch, over his fiddle, smiles down at her and nods.

			(dancing on)
		Faster -- faster --

She breathes this out at Jabez as she passes him. The dancers move faster and 
faster. There is something utterly abandoned about it. The harvest moon 
gleams in at the great door. Then the scene fades out.

The BEDROOM, cold moonlight in the room: It is a winter night, and a candle 
burns beside Mary. Between Mary and Jabez lies the baby. The baby cries and 
Mary turns and tries to soothe it.
		Shh -- go to sleep, little Daniel -- go to 
The baby continues to cry. Mary hums a little song to the child.
		Potato bug sits on the leaf in the sun, 
		Sleep, sleep, my baby --
		Raccoon sits in the spruce all night, 
		Sleep, baby, sleep --
			(who has not been asleep, 
			speaks irritably)
		What in sugar hill's the matter with him?
		Nothing, Jabez -- just natural for a baby to 
		cry, sometimes. 
			(as the baby still cries, she 
			tries to quiet him again) 
		Shh, little Daniel -- sleep -- sleep -- 
She continues her song, but it does not help.
			(flinging back the covers angrily)
		Consarn it! 

He gets up.


Jabez is getting into his trousers.
		Where are you going -- ?
Jabez opens the door, still struggling with his clothes, and goes out,
shutting the door after him. Mary sits up in bed, looking bewildered at the
closed door.
		Jabez! Jabez!
His footsteps dwindle down the stairs. A silence. Mary drops back on her
pillow. Tears start to her eyes. She blinks them away. The baby keeps on
The scene dissolves to a COUNTRY ROAD IN WINTER, the sun shining on the banks
of snow. Visible now is Jabez's sleigh, the graceful, swan-like kind of 1840,
and Jabez's new, sleek horse is pulling it. There are bells on the harness,
gaily jingling as the sleigh goes skimming over the icy road, up hill, then
onto a lake, locked in ice. 
Next JABEZ'S SLEIGH appears at close range and Jabez is seen driving with
Belle, in becoming winter costume, seated beside him. The keen wind blows
against her cheeks, reddening them into the semblance of Christmas berries,
hard and brightly scarlet. Her eyes glitter like sparklets of frost. Jabez
wears a coonskin cap and a great winter coat. He is urging on the horse,
faster and faster, flicking its rump with his whip.
		Golly, Belle, that was a good idea -- we should 
		do that every morning.
		We will -- 
Jabez laughs. Belle laughs, too, very softly. 

		Make him go faster, Jabez -- faster -- 
		faster -- 
Jabez calls to the horse and flicks the whip. They skim on toward the lake.
The LAKE is seen closer: It is day, and the lake is like a jewel of crystal 
in a setting of black spruce trees. We see the dark figure of a man, on the
ice of the lake, stooping over a hole he has cut there.

Now the sleigh appears on the edge of the lake.
			(standing up in sleigh 
			and waving his whip)
		Hey, you! Hey!
A close view discloses a man by the hole in the ice. Bundled up in heavy
clothes, the man is fishing. He is pulling up a fish through the hole, beside
him a pile of fish he has just caught. He turns as he hears Jabez's voice.
		You can't fish there! Private property! I'm 
		Jabez Stone! I'll have the Sheriff after you!
The man, frightened, begins to run. He leaves his other fish behind him, but
holds onto his line with a fish dangling to it. He runs across the ice,
slipping, falling, getting up again and running. He plunges into the spruces
on the other side of the lake.
A close view of Jabez's sleigh discloses Belle laughing as she watches the
man running and falling on the ice. Jabez is still standing up in the sleigh,
brandishing his whip and laughing, too. He drops back in the sleigh again as
the man disappears.
			(still laughing)
		It's wonderful to frighten people like that -- 
		and watch them run.
As Jabez picks up the fish the scene dissolves to the KITCHEN, where a bright
fire is burning in the fireplace. Ma Stone is standing by the doorway to the
stairs, dressed in her Sunday clothes, wearing her new shawl, and putting on
her bonnet. The baby is lying in its cradle by the fire.
			(calling  upstairs)
		Mary! Ready? First bell's a-ringing!
			(coming downstairs)
		Yes, Ma -- I'm ready -- 
She enters the room, dressed in "Sunday-best" also. The baby whimpers and
Mary starts toward the cradle, but before she gets there, Jabez and Belle
enter. They are dressed as we last saw them in the sleigh, and their faces
are ruddy from the wind over the snow. Belle instantly crosses to the cradle;
she throws off her heavy wrap and kneels beside the baby, crooning to it, and
the baby stops crying. Jabez strides to the table and throws the fish down on
			(turning to Mary)
		Good morning, Mary. Brought some fish for us. 
		Want you to cook 'em for breakfast.
Mary turns and looks at him, her soft eyes filled with pain and confusion.
		She'll do nothing of the kind! She's going to 
		church with me, right away!
			(voice shaking)
		Jabez -- for the good of your soul ... please 
		come with us.

		I want you to fix these fish! 

		And I say she won't! I'll not have the scorn 
		of God on this place -- with the smell of fish 
		in it, polluting up the Sabbath!
			(turning to Belle) 
		And as for you -- let me tell you, young 

Church bells are heard faintly.  

		Come along, Ma. Second bell's a-ringing.

Mary crosses to Ma Stone and they go, closing the door behind them. We hear
Mary and Ma driving away in the buggy. 

		We'll cook 'em ourselves. You'll help me, Belle.

		Of course I will.

At this moment, the front door opens and Stevens enters.

		Mornin', Jabez ...

		Hello, Stevens ... you're early today.

		Yes, I wanted to get here before the others.... 
		I want to talk to you alone.

		Some other time, Stevens.
Jabez hurries about the room, arranging chairs and pulling out a table from
the wall. He seems to know exactly what to do, from long practice. He goes to
the cupboard, brings out some bottles of rum and hard cider and cups, and
goes to a drawer in the table and produces a dice box and dice. There is a
rap on the back door, and Belle goes gracefully to the door and opens it,
making a low curtsy. Squire Slossum, Aaron Coffin, the heavy-set banker of
Cross Corners, and two other silent, poker-faced men sneak in.

			(the Squire beating his 
			cold hands together)
		Good morning, m'am -- Good morning, Jabez.  

		Good morning. 

		Sit down, gentlemen. 

			(ogling her)
		Thanks, m'am.
He sits, pompously, at the head of the table. The others sit about the same
table. Jabez draws up a chair, too, and takes up the dice box, rattling the
		I almost forgot -- 
He brings out a roll of bills and hands them reluctantly over to Jabez.
		I hope you'll have better luck today, Squire.

Jabez counts the bills, avidly and over-carefully, holding some up to the
light to see that they are not counterfeit; then pockets the bills. He begins
to roll the dice as each man silently stacks up his betting money before him.
The game proceeds, and Belle serves the rum and hard cider, watching the men
as they play. Suddenly the baby begins to cry again. Belle goes to it
instantly, and takes it up from the cradle and rocks it in her arms. She
croons to it. The song she croons is a French lullaby. It has a strange,
haunting melody, and the French words fall curiously in that New England

			(again ogling her)
		You French? 

			(looking at him through 
			half-closed eyes)
		No -- I'm not anything. 

She goes on singing.

		Your game, Squire!

There is a commanding rap on the door. The players are startled, and they

			(looking out the window)
		Sheriff's coming --

Belle very calmly goes to the door.

		Come in, Sheriff.
	  	Jabez -- seems  like I've been hearing talk 
		around. Reverend Harper thinks more Cross 
		Corners folk oughter be in church, Sabbath 
		Belle, give the Sheriff a cup of rum. 

THE CROSS CORNERS CHURCH, with the congregation assembled: It is the very end
of the service. The severity and serenity of the Sabbath peace lies like a
blessing over the bowed heads of the faithful. In the third pew we see Ma
Stone and Mary, with an empty place beside them.

		Almighty God, who hast given us this good land 
		for our heritage; we humbly beseech Thee that
		we may always prove ourselves a people mindful
		of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will. Save us
		from discord and confusion; from pride and 
		arrogancy, and from every evil way ...

		Save Jabez from pride and arrogancy, and
		from every evil way.

		In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with 
		thankfulness, and in our day of trouble, suffer 
		not our trust in Thee to fail -- amen.

			(in unison)

They lift their heads. The church bell begins to peal. Another service is

The KITCHEN: The bells peal through this and now faintly come to the ears of
the players, among them the Sheriff. They look up. The last dice are rolled
quickly. Money is gathered in; debts are paid. Silently, and in haste, the 
guests collect their coats and hats and mufflers. They begin to file out the 

		Good-bye, Stone -- next Sunday, as usual.

He smiles unctuously at Belle and goes out. When they are all gone, Jabez 
closes the door. Belle is putting away the table and the cups and jugs. Jabez 
hides the cards. Belle returns to her care of the baby. She sits demurely
down on a low stool beside the cradle and begins to rock it, humming softly
to the child. The bells from Cross Corners gradually stop ringing over the
snow-locked countryside. Jabez draws up a chair to the table and begins
adding up his winnings in his account book and ledgers.

He hunts for the date in an old-fashioned almanac ... finds it ... puts his
finger on it. We see Jabez's fingers turning the pages of the almanac -- the
leaves turning swiftly, and we see the years drop away, faster and faster --
leaves of the years falling from the tree of Time.

BLUEPRINTS of a house (Jabez Stone's mansion) appear. Jabez's hand makes
notes and corrections. Details of the front view of the new house appear
until finally the full view of the mansion is seen over the shoulder of a man
on horseback, dressed for fox hunting. Workmen are still putting the
finishing touches on the new house. Furniture is carried in through the
doors. The man on horseback slowly turns his head -- it is Jabez Stone. He
looks back at the old farm where he was born. Then the scene fades out.
The EXTERIOR OF THE FARMHOUSE fades in. It is morning, and Ma Stone, in her
regular old working clothes, grimly sticking to them in a spirit of defiance,
is tending her flower beds and "herb" garden, near the side porch,
transplanting tender new slips. Her sleeves are rolled up and her arms and
hands are covered with good earth. She is kneeling over a flower bed. Jabez's
little son Daniel is with her.

		Granny, when do we move to the new house?

		Move? -- We are not going to move -- the old 
		one is good enough for us.

		But I like the new one better.

		That's just too bad --

Daniel, very cautiously, takes out his beanshooter. A mother hen and her
chicks come around the side of the house, pecking up bugs and worms from Ma
Stone's garden. Daniel loads his mouth with dried beans and aims the
beanshooter at the chickens. He makes a direct hit on the old mother hen. She
squawks and flies up in the air with a great flapping of wings. The chicks
cheep frantically and run about.

			(startled out of her skin)
		Lan's to goodness, what happened to that hen? 
		Did you use that beanshooter again?
			(all innocence; hiding 
			the beanshooter)
		I did not, Grandma.
			(coming from kitchen 
			door behind them)
		Yes, you did, Daniel! I saw it from the window. 
		And then to lie about it! Give me that 
		beanshooter, Daniel!
			(jumping up and dancing away)
		It's mine, Ma! Pa made it for me -- and I'm not 
		going to give it to anyone!
			(reaching for it)
		Daniel give me that beanshooter!
			(attacking Mary)
		No! No! I won't.

		Daniel! ... 
			(catching him) 
		I've stood just about as much as I can bear!

Mary drags the yowling Daniel toward the woodshed that is not far from the 
kitchen door; a sort of lean-to on the rest of the house as was the custom 
then. At this moment Jabez rides up on horseback with Belle beside him.
		What happened.... Where are you taking him?

		I am going to lock him up. 

		You're not supposed to punish my son, Mary.

		That's my business. -- Now, it's all right,
			(to Mary as Daniel 
			continues to cry) 
		What did he do?
		He lied to me again. 

		I did not!
			(to Mary)
		He never lies to me. 
			(to Daniel) 
		Don't cry, Daniel -- I believe you. You're 
		always a very good boy and -- now come along.
She leads him into the house.
			(to Jabez)
		Jabez -- how can you let her talk like that 
		when the boy is present? He won't respect me 
		any more.
		Isn't that your own fault?
		My fault? ... Oh, Jabez -- all I want is to be 
		proud of him. He can be such a fine boy, if we 
		show him how to be.
		He's my son and I like him the way he is. Why 
		do you always have to pick on him? If it's not 
		the boy it's me. You don't like the way I live 
		-- you don't like my friends, or my new house 
		-- or anything.
		But Jabez, I never said that!
		It shows on your face.
		Well -- I am worried about the way you've 
		changed. That was one thing you said you'd 
		never do -- remember?
		Oh, for heaven's sake, leave me alone!
Daniel and Belle are coming out of the house. Jabez picks him up.

		Come on, Daniel -- we'll go fox hunting in the 
		upper pasture.
			(pulling out beanshooter from 
			his pocket and waving it) 
		I'm going to shoot the old fox dead with my 
Jabez, laughing, lifts Daniel on his horse. 

			(calling to Ma Stone)
		Grandma, look at me!
			(squinting up at him but still 
			squatting beside the flower bed)
		I see you! Riding pretty high, ain't you? Look
 		out you don't fall off.
		Not me! 
			(pretending to balance 
			himself, using his arms)
Jabez, Daniel and Belle ride off.
 				MA STONE 
			(to Mary)
		Fox hunting -- a Stone going fox hunting on a 
		week day -- and the earth crying out for the 
		touch of him!
		Now, Ma -- You just try to set an example for 
		me, and keep hold of yourself.
			(rising from flower bed)
		Me? Why, look here, Mary Stone -- I'm worried 
		about you, that's all.

		Worried about me! Well, you just stop it!

 				MA STONE 
		What's that?
			(something steely in her voice)
		I said you should stop worrying because I've 
		made up my mind!
She turns and goes quickly into the house. Ma Stone looks after her,  

the late afternoon: This is a fair, fertile countryside, and all about are 
the green fields, smiling under June skies. Mary is seen driving Jabez's old 
buggy up the road. A farmhand with button-like black eyes and a friendly 
smile is walking along the road.
			(stopping the horse)
		Mr. Webster's place?
		Yes, m'am -- musta come many a long mile, m'am. 
		Horse looks tired -- moving like cold molasses.
		Yes -- we have come a long way -- all the way 
		from Cross Corners to see Mr. Webster. I hope 
		he's at home.
		Yes, m'am -- he's here.
The FIELD OF THE WEST TWO HUNDRED, discloses Webster mowing his clover field, 
two farmhands, giant young men, working with him.
			(calling through this)
		Hey there, Dan'l! Black Dan'l!
			(pulling in the oxen; turning 
			toward road and calling lustily)
		Someone to see you, Dan'l!
		If it's the British Minister, take him around 
		to the pantry and give him some Madeira -- 
		Just someone from New Hampshire!
		Why, that's different!
			(to the other farmhands)
		Well, boys, I guess we'll knock off. I've got 
		to see a friend.
He turns over the oxen to the other men and starts striding across the field. 

The scene dissolves to the DINING ROOM AT MARSHFIELD that evening. It is a 
splendid big room of the period, full of comfortable living and good cheer. 
Webster is at the head of the board and Mary sits at his right. A generous 
meal has just been eaten. They have finished their dessert, with most of the 
dishes cleared away.
		Well Mary, it's too bad I didn't know -- I 
		would have given you a real dinner, but with my 
		wife being in Washington -- Have another piece 
		of pie --
			(starting to cut a generous slice)
		No, really, thank you. -- Is Mrs. Webster 
		coming back soon?
		Well -- she hardly ever comes here -- she's not 
		the type of woman who cares to live in the 
		country. Yes -- I'm all on my own -- sometimes 
		it makes you feel a little lonely --  
			(he pulls out a big cigar) 
		Do you mind if I indulge?
		Of course not --
		No, you wouldn't -- You're not the sort of 
		woman that's afraid of smoke -- or fire -- 
		But now let's talk about your affairs.
		Goodness, Mr. Webster, I've done nothing but 
		talk about that all through dinner.
		Yes, you've chatted a lot, woman-like nibbling 
		around the edge -- But, Mary, forgive an old 
		lawyer's legal mind, I don't think you ever 
		once came to the point. And there is a point, 
		isn't there?
		Why -- yes -- it's hard to put it into words, 
		Mr. Webster. There's this matter of little 
		Daniel's schooling and the new house -- and 
		well -- there's something else that's wrong -- 
		it gets worse, year after year -- it's like a 
		shadow growing -- I can't really talk about it, 
		even to Ma -- she puts it all on Jabez and I
		won't stand for that.
		I've heard some odd things about Jabez lately 
		-- he seems to make the wrong kind of name for 
		Mr. Webster, you mustn't believe all that 
		people say.
		You don't have to defend him to me, Mary -- 
		I've been called names myself.

		You see, I don't care if we are rich or poor -- 
		I don't care if we're big or small, all I care 
		about is Jabez. He was the first man I loved. 
		He never used to care about money -- we were
		poor as Job's turkey, but none of us minded. 
		Now I've seen him drive the poor from the door, 
		and we used to be poor ourselves. I've seen him 
		get hard and mean, and he isn't hard or mean. 
		I've heard him mock at the church bells -- the 
		bells that rang for our wedding. That's not 
		like him, Mr. Webster -- It must be my fault
		somehow -- my fault.
		Mary -- you've talked to me as you might have 
		talked to your father and I believe he wants me 
		to help you a little. You see, sometimes we 
		think we're licked in this life -- but we 
		weren't put here to be licked. Don't you 
		believe it. Sometimes the shadows seem to get 
		hold of us -- the shadows and the evil -- but 
		it is still up to us to fight. Now I was 
		thinking before you came, of coming over to 
		Cross Corners end of the month, to get 
		acquainted with my Godson -- and other things.
		Oh, could you, Mr. Webster ?
		And now come on, Mary. I want to show you the 
		all-fired biggest parsnips in the whole United
		States, raised right here in Marshfield -- of

He links arms with her, in a warm, affectionate, fatherly manner and walks 
her toward the door.
The scene dissolves to the HALL OF JABEZ'S NEW HOUSE at night: The last 
finishing touches are being done by the workmen. For that part of the 
country, the house is ostentatious to the last degree. Perhaps it is borrowed 
freely from the Adams period. Jabez stands in front of a mirror, getting a 
fitting from the Tailor, who is just about to take off the sleeve from the 
evening coat Jabez is wearing. Belle is looking on.
		Looks all right! -- Do you have to tear it all 
		down again?
		I'm sorry, sir -- that's part of the fitting.

		Well, as long as you have it ready for the 
		party --
			(to Belle) 
		Look, Belle -- that'll give the folks something 
		to talk about --

			(correcting him)
		The people, Jabez -- the people.

		The -- folks or people, what's the difference 
		among friends?

The Squire comes in.
		Howdy, Squire! Howdy! Oh -- how do you do, 
		How do you do, Belle? How are you, Jabez? 
			(looks about, very much impressed) 
		Well -- mighty elegant house you got here.
		You really think so? 

Now two workmen come through the room, carrying a billiard table.
			(to the workmen)
		Hey, you! Watch out there -- you're scuffing my 
		Brussels carpet -- Consarn them.
		Jabez! Careful -- 
		Oh --  
		Didn't mean to talk like that in front of a 
			(to Belle) 
		Get some wine for the Squire, Belle.

		Well, Jabez -- I'm a little pressed for time. 
		You wanted to discuss something -- some 
		business --

		Oh yes -- yes. Won't take a minute. Can you 
		keep a secret?
		Why of course --

		Dan'l Webster is coming to my party.

		Dan'l Webster?
		Yes -- and that's the reason I wanted to talk 
		with you. You got my invitation? 

			(taking out a paper) 
		Now look -- here's a list of the people I 
		invited -- they're all the right kind of people 
		-- or did I miss anybody?
			(glancing over the list)
		The only one you missed -- is the President.
		You think that's a joke? I had him on there 
		too, but I was afraid Dan'l Webster might feel 
The Squire makes a move to return the list.  
		You keep that -- that's for you. I want you to 
		talk up the party to make sure that the best 
		folks really come.
		You want me to go around -- 
		Yes  siree -- that's the idea. Get them all 
		here and then say: "Look, folks -- here's 
		Daniel Webster, my guest of honor." Golly, I 
		can see their eyes pop already.
		You mean that's all you had me come out here 
		Now, Squire, you're not going to let me down. 
		We still want to do a lot of business together, 
		don't we?
		Well -- yes -- 
		That's fine. Now you can tell people all about 
		the house, but don't mention Webster.
		You are not so sure that he'll come.

		Oh yes -- I am -- want to bet?
		Why not -- ?
		How much?

		5000 -- that's just what I owe you.

			(extending his hand)
They shake hands.
The scene dissolves into a ROAD TO CROSS CORNERS. It is day, and a carriage 
drawn by two magnificent horses appears, driven by Webster. The carriage is 
brought to a stop as it reaches little Daniel who is reading a handbill from 
a circus.
		Hello, Colonel! Want a lift?

		Well, I wouldn't mind. 
			(as he runs up to carriage)
		But my name's Daniel Stone.
		All right, Daniel. Jump in. 

Daniel does so, and they drive along the road.
In WEBSTER'S CARRIAGE as Webster and Daniel are driving along the road toward 
Cross Corners.

		Gee -- that Fair -- 
		It hasn't opened yet? 

		No -- but I can hardly wait -- Mister -- tell 
		me, will there really be --
			(spelling it out)
		-- a man that eats fire?

		Guess there will, if it says so.
		And two unpara-- unparalleled Cir-cass-ian 
		beauties? What is that?
		Young man -- you got me there.
			(looking at the handbill again)
		'N Daniel Webster will be there.
		A varied list of attractions. And which would 
		you like to see first, Dan'l?
		I think I'd like to begin with the fire-eater -- 
		And what about Daniel Webster?
		Well, I thought he'd come in the middle.
		And serve him right!
Webster is driving faster now. He talks softly to the horses. Daniel fumbles 
in his coat pocket and slyly brings out his inevitable beanshooter. He puts 
beans in his mouth and when Webster isn't looking, blows a bean at the rear 
of one of the horses. The horse shies. Webster turns and catches Daniel 
before he can hide the beanshooter.
		Daniel! Don't ever let me catch you doing that 
		Why? It don't hurt.
		It does hurt! And don't you do it again.
A pause. Webster urges on the horses as he chooses not to say anything more. 
The horses fly along the road.
		Make them go faster, Mr.... ?
		No, Daniel -- they are not race horses. They 
		are good old friends of mine. I call 'em 
		Constitution and Bill of Rights, the most 
		dependable pair for long journeys. I've got one 
		called Missouri Compromise, too, and then 
		there's a Supreme Court -- fine, dignified 
		horse, though you do have to push him now and 
		Golly -- I'd like to see all your horses!
		Maybe you can, sometime, Daniel. I'm a farmer, 
		you know, and like to show my farm -- but the 
		thing I'd like to show you most, you'll have to 
		see for yourself.
		What's that, sir?
		Well -- it's high and it's wide and it goes a 
		long way and there is a wind blowing through it 
		and a blue roof over it -- it's the hills up 
		here and the rivers running south and the new 
		States growing in the West.
		Anybody can see that.
		You're wrong, Mr. Stone. There are people who 
		live and die without e'er seeing it. They can't 
		see the country for the money in their pockets 
		-- And some think their state's the country, or 
		the way they live is the country, and they're 
		willing to split the country because of that. 
		Well, I hope you'll meet all those, when you're
		grown. You'll meet the fire-eaters and the 
		Circassian beauties -- that's part of the fair, 
		to be sure. But if we'd had to depend on them, 
		in a permanent way, the country would have 
		stopped at the Allegheny mountains.
		But it didn't stop. I know it didn't stop. 
		Granny told me it didn't.
		No, siree, it didn't. And it won't -- no matter 
		what happens -- just as long as the folks at 
		the fair believe in freedom and Union. So --  
			(to the horse) 
		Giddyap, Constitution -- and let's keep going, 
		Mr. Stone.
They drive ahead.
			(shouting excitedly)
		Faster -- faster -- 
He takes out his beanshooter and uses it again on the horses. Webster brings 
the buggy to a stop.
			(grabbing Daniel more firmly)
		I think this is coming to you, young man! -- 
He turns him over his knee, taking the boy completely by surprise.

		I told you not to do that again. 

He begins to spank him. Daniel yowls. 

At the INN IN CROSS CORNERS, with a crowd of farmers:
		Black Dan'l! Hurray for Daniel Webster! The 
		Union and Black Dan'l! Hip, hip, hurray!
They rush forward. And now we see Webster's carriage. Webster is just 
finishing spanking Daniel as the rest of the crowd surround the carriage to 
greet him. A close view reveals the boy, Daniel, sprawled across Webster's 
knee. He looks up with tear-stained face as he hears the magic name of Daniel 
Webster! His eyes open wide. He stares. Then, in complete humiliation, he 
escapes through the crowd. -- Now we see Webster as the Squire approaches him.
		Well -- well -- what's this? I thought I'd meet 
		you all down there at Jabez Stone's house-
		warming. I hope you didn't wait for me to lead
		the parade.
		Not exactly, Mr. Webster. -- We wanted to have 
		a little chat with you before we go to the 
		party. Do you mind having a drink with us?
		Do I mind having a drink with you, gentlemen? 
		What a question to ask Daniel Webster!
Webster climbs from his carriage and goes to the inn followed by the Squire 
and the rest of the crowd.
The scene dissolves to the KITCHEN OF THE OLD FARMHOUSE at night: Ma Stone is 
sitting by the window shelling peas. She interrupts her work to peer out into 
the darkness. Steps are heard above and as Ma turns around Mary appears at 
the foot of the stairs in her party dress. There is a moment of silence.
		So you've made up your mind to go to the party.

		You aren't angry with me? 

		Ah, fiddlesticks -- you are old enough to know 
		what you are doing.
They go to the door.
The FRONT YARD: As Mary walks away through the darkness Ma stands in the 
doorway looking after her.
		Be sure to let me know if Daniel is over there.
		I won't forget.
Mary walks on as Ma looks after her. In the distance we see the flickering of 
the lights in the new house.
The scene dissolves to the RECEPTION ROOM OF JABEZ'S NEW MANSION, moving up 
impressive front stairs and through the great door into the hall with its 
grand staircase, and then into a reception room. Here are found a great many 
of the treasures that Jabez has bragged about. Servants of every description 
are waiting, and a small orchestra is in one corner, tuning up. There is a 
decided air of pretentiousness about it all, contrasting pointedly with the 
dance in Jabez's barn, years before.
Mary, dressed in a simple but becoming party gown, moves quietly about, 
seeing that all is correct and in readiness -- a demure and charming hostess, 
hiding her real feelings quite successfully, for the moment. Jabez enters, 
just having come downstairs, dressed to "kill." He goes to a full-length 
mirror on the wall, tying his cravat. There is something utterly pompous 
about him, at the same time tragic in its implications.
			(looking at his watch, 
			then turning to Mary)
		Why don't they come -- 
		I don't know, Jabez.
Jabez walks up and down, waiting. Suddenly he turns to the orchestra.
		Play some music -- something gay and jolly.
The orchestra starts to play. Then Jabez, after another interval of nervous 
waiting, turns to Mary again.
		Think this room is larger than anything 
		Webster's got at Marshfield? You've been there. 
		What about it, Mary?
		It's -- different, Jabez -- that's all.
			(looking again at is watch)
		What's the matter with 'em? Why don't they 

Little Daniel comes running down the stairway, followed by Belle who is 
dressed elaborately for the party. Jabez doesn't take any notice of the boy, 
being so worried. He continues to walk up and down.
		Daniel, you ought to be in bed.
		No, no, I don't want to go to bed. I want to be
		here for the party. 

He runs from the room. Jabez in his walk approaches the window, where faces 
appear pressed against the glass.
			(to Belle)
		What are those people doing there? What do they 
		They're just outsiders. They want to see how 
		fine Jabez Stone lives these days. They're 
		waiting for your guests, too --
Jabez turns away from the window and as he passes the orchestra, which has 
just finished a piece, he relieves his tension by shouting at them.
		Consarn it -- I'm paying you for playing -- so 
		keep on playing.
The musicians hurriedly start to play another selection. But, before they can 
begin, a bell is heard. It cracks the silence. Jabez jumps to attention and 
Belle moves from the window. Mary stands stiffly, as a servant, or lackey, 
hurries to the great front door. The orchestra strikes up, triumphantly.
A Lackey hurries to the door and opens it. A small, pinched figure in rusty 
black, stands on the great steps. It is Stevens. He takes off his old beaver, 
stove-pipe hat and cringes in, stepping with an obsequious air. The Lackey 
takes his hat which he hardly wants to let go. He crosses to Mary. Mary makes 
a curtsy and Stevens takes her hand, eager for the warmth of it.
		Welcome, Mr. Stevens -- 
		Good evening, Mrs. Stone.
Nervous and cringing, he crosses the threshold and enters the reception room.
The RECEPTION ROOM: Stevens crosses to Jabez.
		Good evening -- I'm sorry, Jabez -- I'm a 
		little late.

		No, you're not.

			(looking  around)
		Where's everybody?
		I dunno -- I can't figure it out. I've invited 
		them all. Why don't they come?

		They're all at the inn. I've seen them.... Mr. 
		Webster's there, too....

The scene dissolves to the INN IN CROSS CORNERS, where Webster is sitting 
with Tom Sharp, Eli Higgins, Hank and a number of other farmers around a 
table. Webster is looking over a number of contracts -- the same which the 
farmers signed with Jabez.
			(to Hank)
		Show Mr. Webster that foul contract you got 
		with Jabez Stone.
Hank produces a worn bit of legal paper and hands it over to Webster. Webster 
compares it with the other contracts.
		He's certainly made himself the big frog in the 
		little puddle around here, hasn't he?

		And it all looked so simple when it started -- 
		like getting loans for nothing. 
			(to Tom Sharp) 
		I should have listened to you, Tom.
		Well -- he's got you, I'm afraid -- got you
		sewed up tight in his money pocket. Guess 
		you've sold your souls, gentlemen!
The scene dissolves to the RECEPTION HALL IN STONE'S MANSION, where the 
situation hasn't changed -- no guests are there but Miser Stevens. Belle goes 
over to Mary who is still waiting at the foot of the stairs to play her part 
as the hostess.
		I see why you're here -- you knew that nobody 
		was coming.

		I didn't.

		You're lying.
		Lying to you -- Why should I?
		You know that you're in my house.
		I know -- and you could show me the door. You 
		would, too, if you weren't still hoping the 
		guests might arrive.
		You think you're so smart, Mrs. Stone. You 
		wanted to be near Jabez. It looked like your 
		big chance tonight, but you're wrong, you can't 
		win him back -- not that way.
		That's my problem, Belle. 

And she walks away.

Stevens is sitting at the table. Jabez sits next to him, just dismissing the 
little boy, Daniel.

		Now run along, Daniel.
			(as Daniel leaves) 
		What a fine boy you have, Jabez. How old is he 

		Almost seven. 
			(correcting himself quickly) 
		No -- no, he's not seven yet I am sure -- 
		Well -- it seems to me -- I remember when you 
		paid me--

	 		(interrupting quickly)
		Oh, never mind -- let's have a drink.

Stevens looks strangely.

		What's the matter with you? 

		You are afraid!
		Afraid ... of what?

		-- of what happens after we die!
		Are you plumb crazy, man! What do you think 
		happens? We're buried -- that's all.

		But what becomes of our souls?
		Why do you fret about something that isn't 

			(with a frantic note in his voice)
		Don't say that -- I know it is --

			(swigging down another drink) 
		All right -- so it's buried with you!
		What if one hasn't a soul any more? What of 
		Huh? -- What's that? 
			(a pause; he gulps, 
			then hurries on) 
		Well -- what about it? Who cares, anyhow?

		I do -- and I think you should too.
			(suddenly, excited)
		Stevens -- what's all this leading up to? You 
		know something. Come on! Out with it -- you 
		know something about me!
At this moment they are interrupted. Men and women with common faces, the 
same faces we have seen behind the windows, are pouring in. Belle leads them. 
The guests, who have flocked around, bow to Jabez.
			(to Belle)
		Who are these people?
		They are all friends of mine -- from over the 
			(to the crowd) 
		Welcome! Help yourselves to drinks! Glad you 
		could come! Have a good time.
Jabez, dumbfounded, shakes hands with people he has never seen before.
Stevens is shoved aside. The orchestra begins a strange dance tune, and Belle
glides over gracefully to Stevens.
		Let's dance, Mr. Stevens.
		No -- no -- I can't dance -- 
		Oh, yes -- you can dance with me. I'll guide 
		you --  
			(taking his hand) 
		You see -- it is all so easy -- like that --  
			(and she takes a few steps) 
		You see -- so easy --

They begin to dance, slowly at first, around the room. Others are dancing -- 
the strange, thinly-clad people in their heavy boots that clump over the fine 
oak floors. Mary stands in the doorway, watching miserably, seeing Jabez 
drinking more rum, laughing loudly -- all this to cover his growing fears, 
and Mary knows that.
The HALLWAY, just in front of the big outside doors: There is a rap on the 
door and Mary rushes to it, getting there before the lackey can. She opens 
the door herself and Webster comes in.
			(taking his hand)
		Oh -- Mr. Webster -- I'm so glad you came!
			(peering at her eager 
			but distressed face)
		Are you, Mary?  Well, I guess I'm glad myself 
		-- seeing as how you feel this way. 
			(he looks into reception room, 
			at the whirling dancers) 
		Party seems to be quite a success. 
			(with a wry smile) 
		Lots of guests, anyhow.
Mary looks at him and Webster sees that her eyes are moist and that her lips 
tremble. She might say something; might break the shell of her New England 
reserve, but before that can happen, Jabez comes strutting out. His face is 
flushed from rum and his eyes are unnaturally bright. He comes to Webster, 
his hand thrust forward.
		Well -- Mr. Webster! This is a great day for 
		me. Come on in, sir. I want you to take the 
		seat of honor and meet all my guests!
		That's just fine, Neighbor Stone -- but -- I 
		have to be pretty careful of my seats of 
		honor -- where I sit, I mean. You see, the 
		whole country sort of has its eye on me, 
		Jabez -- anybody in public life has that 
		difficulty -- even you, Jabez. They watch us 
		carefully, our neighbors and our enemies, and 
		they see much more than we think they do -- and 
		understand much more. My friends all like to 
		think that I've got the good of mankind always 
		at heart, and I've got to make sure that those 
		I deal with have the good of mankind always at 
		heart, too. Do you know what I'm talking about, 
		What -- what's on your mind?
		You, Jabez Stone -- you and a lot of poor 
		farmers, hereabouts -- good men of the earth 
		who are in trouble because of you. Or -- am I 
		wrong about those contracts, Mr. Stone?
		Contracts? -- Yes, they have contracts with me 
		-- lots of 'em -- but -- but that's all right.
		Without me and my money, they wouldn't have 
		They'd have a good neighbor, Jabez -- and 
		that's worth much more than anything else -- 
		much, much more!
Jabez laughs uproariously. Webster shakes his head with the wisdom of real 
sadness in his eyes.
		I'm sorry you can't see that, I know you could
		once -- you made a little speech once, that 
		I'll always remember and I know the others 
		do too --  They remember and they see how you 
		have changed. That's why they didn't want to
		come tonight to you, Jabez -- you're as blind 
		as a Burma bat, with your gold pot! Mind you, 
		it's not the money, I've been talking about, 
		it's what you make of it.
		I -- I don't know what you're talking about! I 
		-- I haven't time to listen to all this -- 

			(still shaking his head)
		No -- you haven't time -- You haven't time 
		for your mother, or your wife, or your child.

			(turning on Mary)
		It's your fault! You brought Daniel Webster 
		here -- just to try to make a fool of me! You 
		played the sneak behind my back -- made up all 
		sorts of lies against me! You can get yourself 
		out of my home -- go back to the other house 
		-- that old place, where you belong -- I don't 
		want to -- to talk to you again!

Over his shoulder, in the doorway to the reception room, the whirling dancers 
pass and Belle, still dancing with Stevens, is seen for a moment.
			(calmly, gently, to Mary)
		Come along, Mary -- 
Mary goes to him and they move to the door. Little Daniel, frightened by the 
strange, motley dancers comes running out of the reception room into the 

		Daniel -- you come with me.
Mary takes his hand. Webster, Mary and Daniel go out of the house; down the 
stairs and the doors close with a bang. Jabez turns and calls into the 
reception room where amidst the other guests, Belle dances with Stevens.

She doesn't listen -- the music is playing faster and louder.
			(to a footman)
		Close the windows and make a fire. 
			(as the footman leaves) 
		Belle!! Belle!
		What is it? 

Jabez turns around and sees Scratch standing in the doorway to the reception 
		Why, Mr. Stone, you look so worried. Can I be 
		of any service?
			(facing Scratch)
		You promised me prosperity, happiness, love, 
		money, friendship -- 
		Just a minute, neighbor Stone. I promised you 
		money and all that money can buy. I don't 
		recall any other obligations. But let's look at 
		the contract.

He takes out a large black pocketbook, stuffed with paper. He flicks papers 
over, reading the names:

		Sherwin, Slattery, Stevens, Stone -- 

But something has fluttered from his pocketbook -- a small white thing that 
looks like a moth -- the soul of Miser Stevens. It flutters toward Jabez. 
Jabez catches it in his hand and closing his fingers, holds it tightly. A 
thin small voice is heard -- the soul of Miser Stevens, speaking from Jabez's 
		Neighbor! Neighbor Stone! Help me!
		That's Miser Stevens' voice! -- Miser Stevens -- 
		.... Miser Stevens' soul, Mr. Stone. Yes -- I 
		am sorry for the disturbance.
		He ain't dead -- he's dancing in there.
		He was --

He steps near and drapes a big bandana handkerchief over Jabez's hand and 
transfers the soul to the handkerchief, and starts tying the ends together. 
Jabez looks into the reception room. It's empty, except for the dead body of 
Stevens lying on the floor.
		In the midst of life -- one really hates to 
		close these long standing accounts. But 
		business is business.
Jabez's eyes fix on the bandana.

		Are they all as -- small -- as that?
		Small? Oh, I see what you mean. Why, they vary. 
			(looking at Jabez) 
		Now a man like Daniel Webster, if I ever get 
		hold of him, I'd have to build a special box 
		for him and even at that, I imagine, the wing 
		spread would be astonishing. 
			(looking again at Jabez) 
		In your case -- 
		My time isn't up yet.
And, as he turns around, the scene changes quickly, to the STONE FARM at the 
blasted tree that bears the date of Jabez's doom. Jabez is hacking blindly at 
the tree trunk with an ax. He is making little headway. Mr. Scratch is 
standing beside him.
		Trying to break our contract again, Mr. Stone?
			(furiously hacking away)
		I'm through with you.
		What a headstrong fellow! Well -- I guess 
		you're quite prepared to suffer the 
		I have still a year -- a year to make up for 
		Oh no, you violated clause five of our contract 
		and I could collect right now, if I chose.
		Not now! Not now!  -- Let me make up -- let me 
		make up.
		Suddenly you seem quite desperate, Mr. Stone --
			(a pause) 
		-- You know I'm a good-natured man. I'm always 
		open to reason. With a little security -- I 
		Anything -- anything. -- You can have it all 
		back -- that money -- the new house -- my farm 
		-- the whole caboodle!
		I'm afraid that's hardly the sort of security I 
		was thinking of --
			(after a pause) 
		You see -- there is that promising little 
		fellow, your son ...
		No! No! No! Not him -- not my son -- I'd rather 
		go with you -- right now.
		Come, come, Mr. Stone, you are a little upset. 
		It's not fair to bargain with you now. -- I'll 
		give you until midnight, Mr. Stone, but not one 
		minute more. Ah, then you'll come with me 
And Scratch disappears. Jabez turns and runs from the tree, off into the 
night, in the direction of the old farmhouse.
The EXTERIOR OF THE OLD FARMHOUSE: The place is dark, forlorn-looking, almost 
desolate in contrast to the false gaiety of the mansion. We follow Jabez as 
he comes running from the tree, along the path to the house. He bursts into 
the kitchen door.
Now we see Jabez INSIDE THE FARMHOUSE as he runs upstairs into the bedroom, 
calling frantically.
		Daniel! ... Daniel! Mary!
He looks frantically about; he calls again and runs downstairs, as the scene 
moves with him into the kitchen. It, too, is empty and dark. He calls once 
		Mary! ... Daniel!
The scene moves with him as he runs outside. Jabez then comes running out, 
more wildly than ever; this time in the direction of the barn.
In the OLD BARN, where Jabez first met Mr. Scratch. Jabez comes running in. 
He pauses, panting; he looks about him, helplessly, hopelessly.
		Mary ... Daniel...
No answer. Suddenly he sinks down on an old barrel and buries his head in his 
hands, groaning in mortal agony. Ma Stone enters from the rear door. She 
carries a smudged lantern.
		My son ... what's the matter?
			(looking up)
		Ma! ... 
			(jumping up and going to her) 
		Where's Mary ... and little Dan'l?
 				MA STONE 
		Gone with Daniel Webster -- to Marshfield, 
		son.... You told Mary to go--
She stops, not wishing to add to his pain, but looks at his twisted face with 
great understanding and compassion. Jabez turns to one of the stalls and 
brings out a horse. Ma Stone holding up the lantern, he leaps on the horse 
and rides off.
Webster, with Mary and Daniel beside him on the front seat of the carriage, 
is driving on toward Marshfield.
ANOTHER PART OF THE ROAD, farther back, with Jabez riding on -- his horse 
galloping. Finally we see ANOTHER SECTION OF THE SAME ROAD as Jabez catches 
up to Webster's carriage. Mary sits beside Webster, holding the boy in her 
		Mr. Webster ... Wait! ... 
			(as Webster slows down, 
			and Jabez rides up) 
			(turning on front seat; 
			with a glad cry)
		Mary! Come back ...
			(happily to Jabez)
		Oh, Jabez! ... 
			(to Webster) 
		Did you hear, Mr. Webster? --  Now you'll help 
		him, won't you?
		I'll fight ten thousand devils to save a New 
		Hampshire man.
Webster turns the horses about and starts back.
The scene dissolves to the EXTERIOR AND THE INTERIOR OF JABEZ'S OLD BARN, a 
Short time later: Jabez and Webster, making their way through a crowd of 
farmers, enter the barn. Throughout the barn is thick darkness, pierced only 
by the uncertain light from a farm lantern. The corners, loft and stalls are 
pools of night.
		It's here you said that you closed the deal 
		with him?
		Yes, Mr. Webster -- it was here where it all 
		I see. And this is where he'd like to collect, 
		Yes -- at midnight.
			(coming in through the front door)
		Jabez ...
			(coming over to Mary, 
			stopping her at the door)
		Mary -- what love and trust could do for your 
		husband, you've done. And frankly, in a very 
		few moments, this is going to be no place for a 

		Mr. Webster -- you will help him? 

		I'll do my best, Mary. 

		You must go now, Mary -- you must!
		All right, Jabez ...
She turns and exits quickly.
		They make plucky women in New England. 
			(he consults his watch, 
			holding it near the lantern) 
		H'm ... how long have we to wait?
			(trying to control himself; 
			looking at his watch)
		Not long -- now.
			(going over to feed-bin where 
			a dusty jug reposes in the hay)
		Then I'll just christen the jug, with your 
		permission, Stone. Somehow or other, waiting's 
		wonderfully shorter with a jug.
He takes the jug over to a plank laid between two saw-horses and pours 
himself a drink into one of the cups Mary brought. He tastes it.
		H'm -- old Medford.
He smacks his lips; sits down on a barreltop. There are a few other barrels 
placed about the crude table.
		There's nothing like it. I saw an inchworm take 
		a drop of it once, and he stood right up on his 
		hind legs and bit a bee. Come -- try a nip!
		There's no joy in it for me.
		Oh, come, man, come. Just because you've sold 
		your soul to the devil that needn't make you a 
He takes another swig of Medford. There is a knock at the rear door; a subtle 
kind of knock that is different from anything else of its kind.
		Come in.
Scratch enters. He carries his collecting-box under his arm.
		Mr. Webster, I presume?
		Attorney of record for Jabez Stone. Might I 
		ask your name? 

		Scratch will do for the evening. May I -- join 
He slides easily onto a barrel-top by the makeshift table and pours a drink 
from the jug then lifts his cup and toasts Jabez and Webster silently. He 
drinks deeply.
		Why, certainly -- but be careful, Mr. Scratch 
		-- Medford rum has an uncanny habit of kicking 
		back, even with old-timers like yourself.  
			(he sips his Medford) 

			(with a soft chuckle)
		It even kicked back -- once at you, didn't it?
			(professing indignant surprise)
		Oh ..  not that you ever get drunk! No, indeed! 
		But a kind of overpowering lassitude or, more 
		plainly, a deep and enveloping sleep.

 		There isn't enough Medford rum in the whole of 
		New Hampshire to make me sleepy.  
			(he deliberately drinks again) 

		Talk has never proved that question, Mr. 
			(he drains his cup) 
		Cup for cup -- what do you say?
		Cup for cup!
They pour and drink and smack their lips at each other.

		Well now, Mr. Stone, did you make up your mind?
		About what?
		Are you willing to give me your son in exchange 
		for an extension of our contract?
The STONE FARMHOUSE KITCHEN where Ma Stone is busy making a pie. Mary stands 
by the window. She turns from it as little Daniel comes running downstairs in 
his nightgown and bare feet.
		Daniel! ... You must go to sleep.
			(throwing his arms around her)
		I don't want to be up there all alone, Mama....
		I want to be with you.
		All right, darling.

Voices are heard outside, and there is a quick rap at the window.

			(to Mary)
		You see who it is. I have to get my pie in the 

Mary opens the door. There are Tom Sharp and a few farmers outside.

		Jabez's new house is a-burning down!

			(calling from the stove)
		Well, you just let it alone ... the consarn 
		thing oughter burn!
She closes the window on their astonished faces, and turns to Mary with her 
head tossing and her lips pursed.
The BARN, with Webster and Scratch still drinking. With a chuckle, Scratch 
rises, perfectly steady on his nimble legs. Webster sits at the table, a 
trifle slumped.
		Your spirited efforts on behalf of your clients 
		do you credit, Mr. Webster -- If you have no 
		more arguments to adduce I'll take him along 
		Not so fast, Mr. Scratch. Produce your evidence 
		-- if you have it.
			(taking out the pocketbook)
		There, Mr. Webster. 
			(passing it to him) 
		All open and above-board and in due and legal 
			(looking over the deed)
		H'm. This appears -- I say appears -- to be 
		properly drawn. But you shall not have this 
		man! A man isn't property! Mr. Stone is an 
		American citizen, and no American citizen may 
		be forced into the service of a foreign prince.
		Foreign? And who calls me a foreigner?
		Well, I never heard the dev-- of your claiming 
		American citizenship.
		And who with better right? When the first wrong 
		was done to the first Indian, I was there. When 
		the first slaver put out for the Congo, I stood 
		on the deck. Am I not spoken of, still, in 
		every church in New England? 'Tis true, the 
		North claims me for a Southerner, and the South 
		for a Northerner, but I am neither. To tell the 
		truth, Mr. Webster, though I don't like to 
		boast of it, my name is older in the country 
		than yours.
		Then I stand on the Constitution! I demand a 
		trial for my client.
		You mean -- a jury trial?
		I do! If I can't win this case with a jury, you 
		shall have me, too. If two New Hampshire men 
		aren't a match for the devil, we'd better give 
		this country back to the Indians.
		Very well. -- You shall have your trial, Mr. 
		Webster. The case is hardly one for an ordinary 
		jury -- 
		Let it be the quick or the dead -- So it is an 
		American judge and an American jury!
		The quick or the dead! You have said it. 
			(he raises the cup again to Webster)  
		May -- the best man win, Mr. Webster!
		I'll drink to that, Mr. Scratch!
Webster raises his glass also. Both drink deeply, Scratch watching Webster 
closely, to see the effect. Then Scratch goes to a door in a dark corner of 
the floor that opens into a cellar. He throws the door back and a black hole 
yawns at his feet. A ruffian in pioneer dress, Captain Kidd, appears, others 
		You must pardon the leathery toughness of one 
		or two ... Captain Kidd -- he killed a man for 
		gold; Simon Girty -- the renegade; he burned 
		men for gold; Governor Dale -- he broke men on 
		the wheel; Asa, the Black Monk -- he choked 
		them to death; Floyd Ireson and Stede Bonnet, 
		the fiendish butchers; Walter Butler -- the 
		King of the Massacre; Big and Little Harp -- 
		robbers and murderers; Teach, the Cutthroat;  
		Morton, the vicious lawyer ... and ... General 
		Benedict Arnold -- you remember him, no doubt. 
		Dastard, liar, traitor, knave -- Americans 
		all ...
They now go toward the stalls that in a crude way resemble a jury box.
Now in the KITCHEN OF STONE'S OLD FARMHOUSE, Ma Stone sits by the fire, 
reading from the big family Bible, Mary at her side. It is still night.
			(reading from Psalm 102)
		"Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am 
		in trouble; incline thine ear unto me; in the 
		day when I call answer me speedily. For my days 
		are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned 
		as an hearth. My heart is smitten, and withered 
		like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread.
		But thou, O Lord, shalt endure forever; and thy 
		remembrance unto all generations."
Then, back in the OLD BARN, we see that the jury has filled up the stalls 
that serve as a jury box. They sit silently in shadow, real and yet at the 
same time, unreal. Justice Hawthorne, a tall, lean, terrifying Puritan 
			(in a gabble)
		Oyes, oyes, oyes! This trial tream of the 
		Midnight Court of the State of New Hampshire in 
		the County of Franklin, is now in session. 
		Justice Hawthorne presiding. Oyes, oyes, oyes! 
		The Devil versus Jabez Stone!
		Who appears for the plaintiff?
		I, Your Honor.

		And for the defendant?

		Are you content with the jury, Mr. Webster? 

		I object to General Benedict Arnold, Your 
		Honor, for being a flagrant traitor to the 
		great American cause.... 

			(cutting it short)
		Objection denied! The prosecution will proceed.
			(stepping out briskly)
		Your Honor -- gentlemen of the jury -- this 
		case need not detain us long. It concerns one 
		thing alone -- the transference, barter and 
		sale of a certain piece of property, to wit, 
		his soul by Jabez Stone. That transference, 
		barter or sale is attested by a deed. I offer 
		that deed in evidence and mark it Exhibit A.
		I object.

		Objection denied. Mark it Exhibit A.
Scratch hands the deed to the clerk who hands it to Hawthorne.
		I shall now call Jabez Stone to the witness 

		Jabez Stone to the witness stand!
Webster gives Jabez an encouraging pat on the hack, and Jabez takes his place 
in the witness stand, which is an empty corn-crib. He looks scared. The eyes 
of the jury fasten upon him.

		Jabez Stone -- did you or did you not sign this 
		Yes, I did -- but you tricked me into signing 
		it! You told me my soul was nothing ... that I 
		could forget all about a soul, in exchange for 
		money. That was a lie, a lie, a lie.
			(only smiling)
		That is highly irrelevant to this case, Your 
			(nodding sagely)
		Leave out the soul. Proceed.

		I would like to ask Mr. Stone whether or not I 
		faithfully fulfilled my part of the contract? 
		Didn't I give you seven years of good luck and 
		prosperity? Didn't I make you the richest man 
		in the country?
		Yes -- yes, I am the richest man -- too rich. I 
		can't think of anything but money. That's the 
		trouble with me.

		But, Mr. Stone, I am hardly to blame for the 
		pricking of your wholly unnecessary conscience. 
			(he holds out deed) 
		Is this your signature?

			(almost shouting)
		You know darn well it is.
			(turning to the jury)
		Gentlemen, the prosecution rests.
		Does the jury wish to consider the case?

They do not speak.

		It appears they do not. Take your man, Mr. 

Scratch moves toward Jabez who shrinks back. The jury sits motionless.

		I protest, Your Honor! I wish to cross-examine 
		-- to prove -- 
		There will be no cross-examination in this 
		Your Honor, you will lose a great experience if 
		you do not let him speak. There is only one 
		Daniel Webster.
			(to Webster)
		You may speak, if you like, but be brief.
			(as  Webster steps forward) 
		And let me warn you, Mr. Webster -- if you 
		speak and fail to convince us, then you, too -- 
			(pointing his finger) 
		-- are doomed!
There now appears a close view of Daniel Webster. His face shows his struggle 
to concentrate.
		Drag him down with us  -- Drag him down with 

		Save yourself, Mr. Webster -- Don't speak!

		"There isn't enough Medford rum in the whole of 
		New Hampshire to make me sleepy." 

		Lost and gone -- lost and gone -- 
A bell stroke and music.

			(his voice mounting over it all)
		Be still!
The timbre of his mighty voice stops the murmur, and the music and bell 
strokes recede. A breathless silence ensues. He is facing the jury, his eyes 
like anthracite, seeming to burn through the murk.

		Gentlemen of the jury -- It is my privilege to 
		be addressing tonight a group of men I've long 
		been acquainted with in song and story, but men 
		I had never hoped to see.

He pauses. They stare back at him, eyes fixed, and Benedict Arnold starts to 
raise his head.
		My worthy opponent, Mr. Scratch, has called you 
		Americans all, and Mr. Scratch was right -- you 
		were Americans all! Oh, what a heritage you 
		were born to share! Gentlemen of the jury, I 
		envy you! For you were there at the birth of a 
		mighty Union. It was given to you to hear those 
		first cries of pain -- and to behold the 
		shining babe that was born of blood and tears. 
		Tonight, you are called upon to judge a man 
		named Jabez Stone. What is his case? He is 
		accused of breach of contract --  He made a 
		deal to find a short cut in his life -- to get 
		rich quickly.... The same deal all of you once 
			(a pause) 
		You, Benedict Arnold! ... I speak to you first, 
		because you're better known than all your other 
		colleagues here. What a different song yours 
		could have been! A friend of Washington and 
		LaFayette -- a soldier -- General Arnold, you 
		fought so gallantly for the American cause, 
		till -- What was the date? Oh, yes -- in 1779, 
		a date burned in your heart.
Arnold bows his head again.
		The lure of gold made you betray that cause.
Another pause as his words sink in; then he whirls about and points at Simon 
		You, Simon Girty, now known to all as Renegade! 
		A loathsome word -- you also took that other 
			(steps along the jury box) 
		You, Walter Butler -- What would you give to 
		have another chance to let the grasses grow in 
		Cherry Valley without the stain of blood? -- 
		You, Captain Kidd, and you, Governor Dale -- I 
		could go on and name you all, but there's no 
		need of that. Why stir the wounds? I know they 
		pain enough. 
			(his voice rises) 
		All of you were fooled like Jabez Stone -- 
		fooled and trapped in your desire to rebel 
		against your fate. Gentlemen of the jury -- 
		it's the eternal right of man to raise his fist 
		against his fate, but every time he does he 
		stands at crossroads. You took the wrong turn 
		and so did Jabez Stone. But he found out in 
		time. He is here tonight to save his soul. 
		Gentlemen of the jury, I ask that you give 
		Jabez Stone another chance to walk upon the 
		earth, among -- the trees, the growing corn, 
		the smell of grass in spring -- What would you 
		give for one more chance to see those things 
		that you must all remember and often long to 
		feel again? For you were all men once. Clean 
		American air was in your lungs -- you breathed 
		it deep, for it was free and blew across an 
		earth you loved. These are common things I 
		speak of, small things, but they are good 
		things. Yet without your soul they are nothing. 
		Without your soul they sicken. Mr. Scratch told 
		you that your soul is nothing and you believed 
		him. It has cost you your freedom. Freedom is 
		not just a big word -- it is the bread and the 
		morning and the risen sun. It was for freedom 
		we came in boats and ships to these shores. It 
		has been a long journey, a hard one, a bitter 
		one. There is sadness in being a man, but it is 
		a proud thing, too. Out of the suffering and 
		the starvation, the wrong and the right, a new 
		thing has come, a free man. When the whips of 
		the oppressors are broken, and their names 
		forgotten and destroyed, free men will be 
		walking and talking under a free star. Yes, we 
		have planted freedom here in this earth like 
		wheat. We have said to the sky above us, "A man 
		shall own his own soul." Now -- here is this 
		man -- He is your brother! You are Americans 
		all, you cannot--
			(pointing at the devil)
		-- take his side -- the side of the oppressor. 
		Let Jabez Stone keep his soul -- this soul 
		which doesn't belong to him alone, which 
		belongs to his son -- his family -- his 
		country. Gentlemen of the jury -- don't let
		this country go to the devil! Free Jabez 
		Stone! God save the United States and the men 
		who have made her free!
A long pause. The jury does not stir. Webster steps back, goes to the table 
and sits down, quietly. The pause holds for a moment longer, and then 
Hawthorne speaks:
		The jury will consider its verdict.
He hands the deed to the FOREMAN of the jury. They form a little circle and 
put their heads together. Jabez looks at them, the sweat of his agony in 
beads on his forehead. Scratch only smiles. Slowly the jury turns again and 
the foreman tears up the deed.
		The jury finds for the defendant.
A long-drawn crow of a cock is heard.
			(wryly to Webster)
		My congratulations -- as between two gentlemen.

			(catching Scratch by the collar)
		Why, you long-barreled, slab-sided, lantern-
		jawed, note-shaving crook, be off with you ...
He runs Scratch to the door and kicks him out.

The YARD OUTSIDE OF THE BARN: Morning light is shining. Scratch is tearing 
out of the barn. He turns and calls back:
		You'll never be president -- I'll see to that!
He practically thumbs his nose. But the farmers rush in and chase Scratch out
through the gate. He runs wildly down the road.

IMMEDIATELY OUTSIDE THE BARN DOOR: Mary is just flinging her arms around
		Jabez -- Jabez!

		You were worried, Jabez, weren't you?
		Well, I --

		I know -- that was mighty queer Medford -- knew 
		it the minute I tasted it. But it takes more 
		than that to down Daniel Webster.
			(turning to him and 
			clasping his hands)
		You've done it, Mr. Webster -- God bless you!

And as they stand together, Jabez runs toward the house.

OUTSIDE THE KITCHEN, Ma Stone is busy setting the breakfast table that is 
under an apple tree in the yard. Jabez comes running to her gleefully, like a 
boy let loose from school.

		Ma -- Ma -- it's all right, Ma!
			(still busy with her table, 
			in matter-of-fact tone)
		Of course it's all right, son. You had Daniel 
		Webster, didn't ye? 
			(calling out loudly) 
		Breakfast's ready!
			(to Jabez) 
		I've made a special surprise for Mr. Webster.

The EXTERIOR OF JABEZ STONE'S FARM, near the old barn. Webster, with the jug 
of Medford rum under his arm, is surrounded by the farmers including Tom 
Sharp, and Eli Higgins. They are giving three cheers for Webster.
		Hurrah for Black Dan'l!
		Don't make so much of a trifle, my friends!

			(joining the group)
		Ma says breakfast's ready, Mr. Webster!
		Breakfast ... Ah! ... Come along friends, Ma 
		Stone's a cook this side of heaven.
He hooks his arm into Jabez's and they go up toward the house. Tom Sharp 
walks next to Jabez. 
OUTSIDE THE KITCHEN as they all sit down. Webster is at the head of the 
table, the jug of Medford beside his chair. Jabez sits next to Mary, and next 
to Mary sits little Daniel. 

		Jabez -- will you join our Grange now?

		Why, thank you, Tom. I was going to ask you if 
		you thought I could. 

		We'll be mighty glad to have you with us.

		There is nothing like a good old country 
		breakfast. Where's Ma?
		She'll be here in a moment. She has a special 
		surprise for you. 

Ma Stone brings out a huge covered dish from the kitchen and sets it before 
Webster with pride.
			(sniffing it)
		Peach pie!
Ma smiles, but doesn't answer. Webster lifts the cover and finds an empty  
dish. Everybody is dumbfounded.  

		What the D-- ?

And on CROSS ROADS we see Scratch, in his buggy, holding a big peach pie in 
his hands and munching it lustily as the scene fades out. 

Screenplay by Dan Totheroh and Stephen Vincent Benet

BONUS ITEM: Transcript of Webster's speech (from the finished film)

DANIEL WEBSTER (Edward Arnold): Gentlemen of the jury, tonight it is my privilege to address a group of men I've long been acquainted with in song and story, but men I had never hoped to see. My worthy opponent, Mister Scratch, called you Americans all. Mister Scratch is right. You were Americans all. Oh, what a heritage you were born to share. Gentlemen of the jury, I envy you, for you were present at the birth of a mighty union. It was given to you to hear those first cries of pain and behold the shining babe, born of blood and tears. You are called upon tonight to judge a man named Jabez Stone. What is his case? He's accused of breach of contract. He made a deal to find a shortcut in his life, to get rich quickly, the same kind of a deal all of you once made.

You, Benedict Arnold. I speak to you first because you are better known than the rest of your colleagues here. What a different song yours could have been. A friend of Washington and Lafayette, a soldier. General Arnold, you fought so gallantly for the American cause till -- let me see, what was the date? -- seventeen seventy-nine. That date, burned in your heart. The lure of gold made you betray that cause. And you, Simon Girty, now known to all as "Renegade" -- a loathesome word -- you also took that other way. And you, Walter Butler, what would you give for another chance to see the grasses grow in Cherry Valley without the stain of blood? I could go on and on and name you all but there's no need of that. Why stir the wounds? I know they pain enough. You were fooled like Jabez Stone, fooled and trapped in your desire to rebel against your fate.

Gentlemen of the jury, it is the eternal right of every man to raise his fist against his fate. But when he does, these are crossroads. You took the wrong turn. So did Jabez Stone. But he found it out in time. He's here tonight to save his soul. Gentlemen of the jury, I ask you to give Jabez Stone another chance to walk upon this earth, among the trees, the growing corn, and the smell of grasses in the Spring. What would you all give for another chance to see those things you must all remember and often yearn to touch again? For you were all men once. Clean American air was in your lungs and you breathed it deeply. For it was free and blew across an earth you loved. These are common things I speak of, small things, but they are good things.

Yet without your soul, they mean nothing. Without your soul, they sicken. Mister Scratch once told you that your soul meant nothing. And you believed him. And you lost your freedom. Freedom isn't just a big word. It is the morning and the bread and the risen sun. It was for freedom we came to these shores in boats and ships. It was a long journey and a hard one and a bitter one. Yes, there is sadness in being a man... but it is a proud thing, too. And out of the suffering and the starvation and the wrong and the right, a new thing has come: a free man. And when the whips of the oppressors are broken and their names forgotten and destroyed, free men will be talking and walking under a free star. Yes, we have planted freedom in this earth like wheat. And we have said to the skies above us, "A man shall own his own soul..." Now, here is this man. He is your brother. You were Americans all. [points to the Devil] You can't be on his side, the side of the oppressor. Let Jabez Stone keep his soul, a soul which doesn't belong to him alone but to his family, his son, and his country.

Gentlemen of the jury, don't let this country go to the devil. Free Jabez Stone. God bless the United States and the men who made her free.