The Night of the Hunter


FULL SHOT -- THE STARLIT SKY

				VOICE
		And he opened his mouth and taught them, 
		saying...

FADE sky to DAY.

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

LONG SHOT -- HELICOPTER -- OHIO RIVER COUNTRY
High over the country, CENTERING the winding river.

				VOICE
		Beware of false prophets....

LOWER LONG SHOT -- HELICOPTER -- RIVER COUNTRY
We approach a riverside village.

				VOICE
		... which come to you in sheep's clothing ...

A CLOSER, LOWER HELICOPTER SHOT
We descend low over a deserted house; CHILDREN in yard run and hide; we 
hear "IT" counting "five, ten, fifteen, twenty..."

				VOICE
		... but inwardly, they are ravening wolves. 

MEDIUM SHOT -- "IT"
He finishes his count with a loud "Hundred" and turns, then:

				"IT"
		What's wrong?

We PAN as he comes towards a little boy, beside an open cellar door, who
gestures towards the open door.  "IT" looks down.

				"IT"
			(a low gasp)
		Heyy!
			(then he shouts to all
			  and to us)
		Heyy!

We DOLLY IN fast to, and TILT DOWN into, open cellar, into:

CLOSE SHOT -- A LEG
A skeletal leg in a rotted fume of stocking and a high-heeled shoe.  We 
HOLD a moment, then PULL UP and AWAY over the converging heads of several 
CHILDREN.  A CHILD whimpers softly.

HELICOPTER SHOT
The yard and the CHILDREN, same angle and height as the last descending 
helicopter shot.  We PULL BACK and AWAY.

				VOICE
		Ye shall know them by their fruits.

					DISSOLVE TO

HIGH LONG SHOT -- HELICOPTER
CENTERING the river.

				VOICE
		A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit....

LOWER LONG SHOT (HELICOPTER)

CENTERING on open touring car, as it drives along a river road.

				VOICE
		Neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good 
		fruit. 

We stoop low towards the car.

				VOICE
		Wherefore by their fruits, ye shall know them.

					CUT TO

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER
He is the driver of the car.  Pleasant river landscapes (PROCESS) flow behind
him.  He is dressed in dark clothes, a paper collar, a string tie.  As he 
drives, he talks to himself.

				PREACHER
		What's it to be, Lord, another widow?  Has it 
		been six?  Twelve?  ... I disremember. 

He nods, smiles, and touches his hat.  We see a farm couple in a poor wagon.

				PREACHER
		You say the word, and I'm on my way.

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER DRIVING
He brakes his car in a small riverside town; then proceeds.

				PREACHER
		You always send me money to go forth and preach 
		your Word. A widow with a little wad of bills 
		hidden away in the sugar-bowl.

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER DRIVING
He shifts into second gear, climbing a steep little hill.

				PREACHER
		I am tired. Sometimes I wonder if you really 
		understand. 
			(pause)
		Not that you mind the killin's...

The stones of a country graveyard gleam in the last daylight.

				PREACHER
		Yore Book is full of killin's.

He starts fast and noisily down a steep hill.

				PREACHER
		But there are things you do hate, Lord: 
		perfume-smellin' things -- lacy things -- 
		things with curly hair --

					CUT TO

INT.  A BURLESQUE HOUSE -- MEDIUM CLOSE SHOT -- A DANCER
She is hard at work to music o.s.

FULL SHOT -- AUDIENCE -- CENTERING ON PREACHER, IN AISLE SEAT
Among the members of the sad burlesque audience, he is in strong contrast: 
a sour and aggressive expression.  Music o.s.  We MOVE IN fast to a HEAD 
CLOSE-UP.

MEDIUM CLOSE SHOT -- THE DANCER

INSERT -- PREACHER'S LEFT HAND
Labeled H-A-T-E in tattoo across four knuckles, it grips and flexes.

INSERT -- HIS RIGHT HAND
Before we see the lettering he slides it into his pocket.

EXTREME CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER
His head slants; a cold smile; one eyelid flutters.

INSERT -- RIGHT HAND AND POCKET
We hear the snapping open of a switchblade knife and the point of the knife 
cuts through his clothes. 

LESS EXTREME CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER
He seems to "listen" for something.

				PREACHER
		No, There are too many of them; you can't kill 
		the world.

A hand descends firmly onto his shoulder.  He glances up behind him as we

					TILT TO

CLOSE SHOT -- A STATE TROOPER
He bends down and speaks quietly next PREACHER's ear.

				TROOPER
		You driving an Essex tourin'-car with a 
		Moundsville license?

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

INT. COURTROOM -- CLOSE THREE-SHOT -- JUDGE AND CLERK, OVER PREACHER

				JUDGE
		Harry Powell, for the theft of that touring car 
		you will spend thirty days in the Moundsville 
		Penitentiary.

				PREACHER
			(correcting Clerk)
		Preacher Harry Powell.

				JUDGE
		A car thief!  Picked up where you were!  A man 
		of God? 
			(to Clerk)
		Harry Powell.

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

FULL SHOT -- MOUNDSVILLE PENITENTIARY -- DAY (HELICOPTER)
A grim, stone-turretted facade; an American flag idles at top center.

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

CLOSE DOWNWARD TWO-SHOT -- JOHN AND PEARL HARPER
They sit in the grass, a sentimental picture.  JOHN is nine;  PEARL is five.
They are working together on PEARL's doll;  PEARL is dressing her, while 
JOHN gets on a difficult shoe.

				PEARL
		Stand still, Miss Jenny!

				JOHN
			(across her)
		There!  What's so hard about that?

He proudly exhibits the shod foot.

They hear the sound of an auto engine o.s.  They look o.s. and get up, PEARL 
dangling the doll.

LONG SHOT -- OVER THE CHILDREN -- BEN HARPER'S FORD
A Model-T Ford approaches at maximal speed on uneven dirt road.

				PEARL
			(to John, happily)
		Daddy!

The car careens towards us; then swings into the sideyard as we PAN, and
stops.

They run towards their father fast; then JOHN looks puzzled and they stop 
short.

BEN HARPER half-falls out of the far door, his shoulder blood-stained, his 
eyes wild.  A hefty, simple man of thirty.  He looks at them, dazed, across 
the car.

MEDIUM SHOT -- BEN HARPER

				BEN
		Where's your Mom?

				JOHN
		Out shopping -- you're bleeding, Dad --

				BEN
		Listen to me, John.

On this he comes around clear of the car with a revolver in one hand and a 
bloody roll of banknotes in the other.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN
He screams.  BEN slaps him with the back of the money hand, leaving blood on 
JOHN's cheek.

CLOSE GROUP SHOT -- JOHN, BEN, PEARL
PEARL, and the house, are in the BACKGROUND.  PEARL just clutches her doll.  
During BEN's next lines, JOHN touches his cheek and looks at the blood on his 
fingers and at the bloody money -- of which we FLASH-CUT an INSERT.

				BEN
			(rushing)
		Listen!  This money here!  We got to hide it 
		before they get me!  There's close to ten 
		thousand dollars.
			(his eyes dart wildly)
		Under a rock in the smokehouse?  Ah, no.  Under 
		the bricks in the grape arbor?  No, they'd dig 
		for it. 

CLOSE SHOT -- BEN

				BEN
			(sudden triumph)
		Why, sure!  That's the place!

He moves forward and OUT and in his place we see two police cars, small in 
distance, coming fast.  We hear sirens.

INT. FRONT POLICE CAR -- THROUGH WINDSHIELD
...and over two STATE TROOPERS.  They move at high speed, with sirens.

BEN and his CHILDREN, tiny in the distance, dilate.

				TROOPER
			(driving)
		That's him.

				2ND TROOPER
			(over his shoulder, as if to us)
		He prob'ly still has that gun.

CLOSE GROUP SHOT -- BEN AND THE CHILDREN
Police cars approaching in BACKGROUND.  PEARL hugs her doll.  JOHN is dazed.
BEN stands, pistol in hand.

				BEN
		Here they come.

				JOHN
		Dad, you're bleeding....

He grabs JOHN's shoulder and stoops as we TIGHTEN IN.

				BEN
		Listen to me, son.  You got to swear.  Swear 
		means promise.  First swear you'll take care of 
		little Pearl.  Guard her with your life, boy. 
		Then swear you won't never tell where that 
		money's hid.  Not even your Mom.

				JOHN
		Yes, Dad.

				BEN
		You understand?

				JOHN
		Not even her?

In b.g. the TROOPERS get out of their cars and fan out cautiously to 
surround BEN: guns in hand.

				BEN
		You got common sense. She ain't. When you grow 
		up that money will be yours.  Now swear. "I 
		will guard Pearl with my life ..."

				JOHN
			(fumbling)
		I will guard Pearl with my life ...

				BEN
		... "And I won't never tell about the money."

				JOHN
		And I won't never tell about the money.

				BEN
		You, Pearl.  You swear too. 

CLOSE SHOT -- PEARL

				PEARL
			(giggling)
		Who's them Blue Men yonder?

HEAD CLOSE-UP -- JOHN

				JOHN
			(under his breath)
		Blue men.

GROUP SHOT -- TROOPERS IN BACKGROUND

				A TROOPER
		Ben Harper!

				BEN
		I'm goin' now children.  Goodbye.

BEN backs away from his CHILDREN, raising his hands, gun in one hand.  We
PULL BACK a little, enlarging the GROUP SHOT and the role of the TROOPERS in
it.

				TROOPER
		Drop that gun, Harper.  We don't want them kids 
		hurt.

TWO TROOPERS approach BEN from behind.

				BEN
		Just mind what you swore, son.  Mind, boy!

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN
He runs forward and clasps his stomach, with his mouth open.

MEDIUM SHOT -- BEN AND TROOPERS -- JOHN'S VIEWPOINT
One TROOPER smacks the back of BEN's head with a pistol barrel.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN

				JOHN
			(shouting; a sickly smile)
		Don't!

MEDIUM SHOT -- BEN AND TROOPERS -- AS BEFORE
Another TROOPER, with a pistol barrel, knocks the pistol from BEN's lifted 
hand.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN

				JOHN
			(shouting)
		Don't!

BEN AND TROOPERS
BEN sinks to his knees as both men, and two others from the front, close in 
on him.

HEAD CLOSE UP -- JOHN

				JOHN
		Dad!

He takes in the GROUP with his mouth open.

O.S., we hear the slamming of car doors, and car starting away.

FULL SHOT -- JOHN'S VIEWPOINT -- THE CARS
They drive away fast in road dust.

THREE-SHOT -- THE CHILDREN AND WILLA HARPER
Carrying a shopping bag, their mother, WILLA, runs up from BACKGROUND between 
the CHILDREN, looking always to cars o.s.

CLOSE SHOT -- WILLA
She has a rich body.

RESUME THREE-SHOT
PEARL comes to her and she picks up PEARL and the doll;  JOHN, laden with his 
oath, walks quickly into the house.  WILLA does a bewildered take, then looks 
again towards the cars o.s.

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

INT. COURTROOM -- CLOSE THREE-SHOT -- JUDGE AND CLERK, OVER BEN

				JUDGE
		Ben Harper, it is the sentence of this Court 
		that for the murder of Ed Smiley and Corey 
		South, you be hanged by the neck until you are 
		dead, and may God have mercy on your soul.

					LAP DISSOLVE TO


FULL SHOT -- THE MOUNDSVILLE PENITENTIARY
Same view as before but now it is NIGHT.

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

INT. BEN'S CELL -- NIGHT -- CLOSE DOWN-SHOT -- BEN
He lies on his back, chuckling and murmuring indistinctly in his sleep.

				BEN
		I got you all buffaloed!  You ain't never gonna 
		git it outen me; not none o' you!

				PREACHER'S VOICE
			(o.s.., very low)
		Where, Ben?  Where?  Where?

				BEN
			(distinctly)
		And a little child shall lead them.

CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- NEW ANGLE -- BEN, THEN PREACHER
BEN lies in profile.  From the bunk above, the face of PREACHER stretches 
down into the SHOT, upside down, snake-like.

				PREACHER
			(softly)
		Come on, boy: tell me.

BEN awakes, sees PREACHER, and hits him so hard in the face that he falls 
from bunk to floor.  PREACHER collects himself into a squat, nursing his 
face, BEN sits up in bed.

				PREACHER
			(with wholesome dignity)
		Ben, I'm a Man of God.

				BEN
		Tryin' to make me talk about it in my sleep!

				PREACHER
		No, Ben.

				BEN
		What'd I say?
			(he grabs Preacher by the 
			 throat and shakes him)
		What?  What?  What?  What?

				PREACHER
			(choking)
		You was quotin' Scripture.  You said -- you 
		said, "And a little child shall lead them."

				BEN
		Hm!

He lies back, amused.  PREACHER sits on the bedside; manner of a parson 
visiting the sick.

				PREACHER
			(gravely)
		You killed two men, Ben Harper.

				BEN
		That's right, Preacher.  I robbed that bank 
		because I got tired of seein' children roamin' 
		the woodlands without food, children roamin' 
		the highways in this year of Depression, 
		children sleepin' in old abandoned car bodies 
		on junk-heaps; and I promised myself I'd never 
		see the day when my youngins'd want.

				PREACHER
		With that ten thousand dollars I could build a 
		Tabernacle that'd make the Wheeling Island 
		Tabernacle look like a chicken-house!

				BEN
		Would you have free candy for the kids, 
		Preacher?

He picks up and wads a sock.

				PREACHER
		Think of it, Ben!  With that cursed, bloodied 
		gold!

				BEN
		How come you got that stick-knife hid in your 
		bed-blankets, Preacher?

				PREACHER
		I come not with Peace, but with a Sword.

				BEN
		You, Preacher?

PREACHER gets and pockets the knife.

				PREACHER
		That Sword has served me through many an evil 
		time, Ben Harper.

				BEN
		What religion do you profess, Preacher?

				PREACHER
		The religion the Almighty and me worked out 
		betwixt us.

				BEN
			(contemptuously)
		I'll bet.

				PREACHER
		Salvation is a last-minute business, boy.

				BEN
			(sock near mouth)
		Keep talkin', Preacher.

He wads the sock into his mouth and lies back, sardonic.

				PREACHER
			(his voice fading into Dissolve)
		You reckon the Lord wouldn't change his mind 
		about you if...

					DISSOLVE TO

EXT. PENITENTIARY -- NIGHT

					DISSOLVE TO

INSERT -- PREACHER'S HANDS
They rest on sill of cell window, the lettered fingers legible.  The right 
hand is lettered L-O-V-E.  The hands open, disclosing his open knife.  They 
close over it.

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER, AT CELL WINDOW
His eyes lift from his hands, heavenward.  Moonlight on his face.  He prays, 
quietly.

				PREACHER
		Lord, You sure knowed what You was doin' when 
		You brung me to this very cell at this very 
		time. A man with ten thousand dollars hid 
		somewheres, and a widder in the makin'.

					DISSOLVE TO

EXT. PENITENTIARY COURTYARD -- NIGHT
Same shot as before, but now, prison lights are on: and a man, a prison 
GUARD, waits close inside door.  BART THE HANGMAN joins him with a silent 
salute.  BART wears a hard derby.

EXT. PENITENTIARY -- THE DOOR (REVERSE)
They walk in silence into MEDIUM, MOVING SHOT, the GUARD talkative, BART 
reluctant to talk.

The Penitentiary recedes in b.g.

				GUARD
		Any trouble?

				BART
		No.

				GUARD
		He was a cool one, that Harper.  Never broke.

				BART
		He carried on some; kicked.

EXT. BART'S HOUSE -- MEDIUM SHOT -- BART AND THE GUARD
On porch, by door, is a doll's perambulator.  BART and GUARD walk into the 
SHOT.

				GUARD
		He never told about the money.

				BART
			(walking up steps)
		No.

				GUARD
		What do you figure he done with it?

				BART
			(turning, at door)
		He took the secret with him when I dropped him.

The GUARD leaves the shot; BART goes in.

INT. BART'S HALLWAY -- CLOSE SHOT -- BART
He hangs up his coat and hat.  Across this his wife speaks o.s.; a lighted 
door is ajar at rear of hall.  A clatter of dishes and pans o.s.

				BART'S WIFE (o.s.)
		That you, Bart?  Supper's waitin'.

BART just nods and, tiptoeing, walks into a door next the kitchen and snaps 
on a light and turns on water o.s.  His wife comes out of the kitchen and 
goes in.

INT. BART'S BATHROOM -- CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- BART AND WIFE
He is washing his hands in thick lather.  Passing, she pecks his cheek and, 
as we PAN, looks into the next room.  He looks past her, and we see two small 
CHILDREN asleep in a big brass bed.  BART registers, turns again to the 
basin, and we PAN them back into the original TWO-SHOT.

				BART
			(low)
		Mother: sometimes I think it might be better if 
		I was to quit my job as guard.

His WIFE's eyes go sharp and quiet.

				WIFE
			(low)
		You're always this way when there's a hangin'.  
		You never have to be there.

BART rinses his hands.  A sigh; he takes up the towel.

				BART
		Sometimes I wish I was back at the mine.

				WIFE
		And leave me a widow after another blast like 
		the one in '24?  Not on your life, old mister!

He looks at her for a moment.  She goes out.  He looks o.s. towards his 
CHILDREN.  He goes into their room on tiptoe.

MEDIUM SHOT -- BART
He approaches his children, across whose bed we SHOOT without yet seeing 
them.  He comes into MEDIUM CLOSE-UP.  As he leans and we TILT DOWN, he 
extends his large hands.

CLOSE DOWNWARD TWO-SHOT -- HIS CHILDREN
Two rose-and-gold little GIRLS lie in sleep; BART's hands enter the SHOT and 
gently rearrange the covers so that their mouths and throats are free.  We 
watch for a moment more, the two sleeping faces.

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

HEAD CLOSE-UP -- BART, HOVERING HIS CHILDREN

				CHILDREN'S VOICES
			(o.s., chanting)
		Hing, hang, hung.  See what the Hangman done!

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

EXT. CRESAP'S LANDING -- DAY
We are in Peacock Alley.  The tree-shaded dirt street of a small, one-street 
river town; a picturesque, mid-19th century remnant of the old river 
civilization, which general Progress has left behind.  Chiefly we see, in 
this order:  A schoolhouse (on far side of street); Miz Cunningham's second-
hand shop; a Grange House sporting a poster for a Western movie; Spoon's Ice 
Cream Parlor.  At the end of the street, down the river-bank, is a brick 
wharf and Uncle Birdie's wharf-boat.  In b.g. and in passing, suggestions of 
sleepy small-town life.

From the HEAD CLOSE-UP of BART the Hangman o.s. chanting, we

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

HEAD CLOSE-UP -- JOHN HARPER
Chanting voices o.s. complete "see what the Hangman done!"

					PULL BACK TO

CLOSE PULLING TWO-SHOT -- PEARL AND JOHN
They stroll barefoot down the empty dirt sidewalk.  They look towards the 
voices, PEARL friendly, JOHN hostile.

MEDIUM SHOT -- THE CHILDREN, OVER JOHN AND PEARL
Several, within the door of the Schoolhouse, stick their heads around the 
edge.  They chant at the HARPER CHILDREN.  Another next the door, is drawing 
something on the wall.

				CHILDREN
			(chanting)
		Hung, hang, hing!  See the Robber swing!

OVER these lines we CUT briefly to --

CLOSER SHOT -- THE CHILDREN
... chanting, drawing.  The ARTIST completes in chalk, a large simple sketch 
of a man hanging from gallows.  As the verse ends we CUT TO

MEDIUM SHOT -- THE CHILDREN, OVER JOHN AND PEARL
They look towards OUR CHILDREN; JOHN pays them no attention.  The drawing is 
revealed.  JOHN takes PEARL's hand.  The other CHILDREN giggle.

				CHILDREN
			(chanting)
		Hing, hang, hung!  Now my song is done!

Between lines one and two JOHN turns away from them into --

CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- JOHN AND PEARL -- THROUGH WINDOW
We SHOOT them through the window of MIZ CUNNINGHAM's second-hand store.  The 
back of a watch is silhouetted large in FOREGROUND; JOHN's eyes instantly fix 
on it; in b.g. the SCHOOL-CHILDREN finish their song and vanish, giggling, 
into the schoolhouse.  We hear the ticking of the watch.

INSERT -- THE WATCH
A watch with a moving sweep-hand, ticking.

CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- JOHN AND PEARL

				PEARL
		Are you goin' to buy it, John?

No answer.  JOHN's eyes are fixed on the watch.  OVER a shop door-bell we 
hear:

				MIZ CUNNINGHAM'S VOICE (o.s.)
		Uh-Hawwww!

They glance toward her.

MEDIUM SHOT -- MIZ CUNNINGHAM
Fantastically dirty and fantastically dressed, she hustles to them and we PAN 
her into a THREE-SHOT.  She talks like a Tidewater Cockatoo.

				MIZ CUNNINGHAM
			(continuing)
		So your Mommy's keepin' you out of school!  
		Poor little lambs!

PEARL watches her; JOHN the watch.

				MIZ CUNNINGHAM
		And how is your poor, poor mother?

				JOHN
		She's at Spoon's Ice Cream Parlor.

				MIZ CUNNINGHAM
			(she snuffles)
		The Lord tends you both these days!

JOHN doesn't take his eyes off the watch.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN
His eyes are fixed on the watch o.s.

				MIZ CUNNINGHAM'S VOICE (o.s.)
		Didn't they never find out what your father 
		done with all that money he stole?

Eyes as before till "money," then he looks up towards her.

MEDIUM SHOT -- MIZ CUNNINGHAM

				MIZ CUNNINGHAM
		When they caught him, there wasn't so much as a 
		penny of it to be seen!  Now what do you make of 
		that!  Eh, boy?

She grins horribly.

TWO-SHOT -- OVER JOHN AND PEARL

				JOHN
		Pearl and me, we have to go.

He walks off fast as we DOLLY BEHIND THEM; he leads PEARL who hugs her doll.

				PEARL
			(chanting)
		Hing, hang, hung.

				JOHN
		You better not sing that song.

				PEARL
		Why?

				JOHN
		'Cause you're too little.

A few paces in silence; now they come to the big window of Spoon's Ice Cream 
Parlor.

				PEARL
		Can we get some candy?

WILLA's face is seen within; serving a customer, she sees them and waves them 
away.

				JOHN
		No.

He keeps her strolling.  WALT SPOON comes out, proffering two lollypops.

				WALT
		Howdy, youngins.

PEARL drags at JOHN's hand but JOHN, pretending not to see or hear, drags her 
out of the SHOT, shaking his head.  We DOLLY IN on WALT, who looks after 
them, surprised and touched, then goes inside.

INT. SPOON'S PARLOR -- GROUP SHOT -- WALT, WILLA, ICEY SPOON
We PAN WALT across a little of his Parlor; he plants the lollypops back in a 
jar on the counter and leaves the SHOT as we TIGHTEN IN on WILLA and ICEY.  
WILLA slides used dishes into wash-water; ICEY jaws down her back, from first 
moment of SHOT.

				ICEY
		Willa Harper, there is certain plain facts of 
		life that adds up just like two and two makes 
		four and one of them is this:  No woman is good 
		enough to raise growin' youngsters alone. The 
		Lord meant that job for two!

				WILLA
		Icey, I don't want a husband.

CLOSE SHOT -- ICEY

				ICEY
			(fiercely)
		Fiddlesticks!

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

FULL SHOT -- EXT. STREET -- NIGHT
The weekly movie audience is letting out, next door to Spoon's.  Some start 
cars or wagons, others stroll to Spoon's.

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

INT. SPOON'S PARLOR -- EVENING -- TWO SHOT -- ICEY AND WILLA
We start with a CLOSE SHOT as ICEY's hands slap together a gooey banana 
split;  TILT UP to TWO-SHOT, favoring ICEY; finish on WILLA, on "it's a man 
you need," etc.

Murmur of customers o.s.

				WALT'S VOICE
			(calling o.s.)
		One solid brown sody, one Lover's Delight.

				ICEY
		'Tain't a matter of wantin' or not wantin'! 
		You're no spring chicken, you're a grown woman 
		with two little youngins. It's a man you need 
		in the house, Willa Harper.

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

LONG SHOT -- NIGHT -- A TRAIN
A short, lighted, toy-like train departs the town along the river-bank, 
whistling.  The whistle TIES OVER the previous DISSOLVE.  Starlit sky.

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

FRAMING SHOT -- EXT. HARPER HOUSE -- NIGHT
A square, HEAD-ON SHOT, river water below and vibrant starlight above; 
featuring a gas-lamp by the road; a tree; and pretty tree-shadows which work 
across a window.

INT. HARPER CHILDREN'S BEDROOM -- NIGHT -- TWO SHOT -- JOHN, PEARL, SHADOWS
PEARL lies in their bed, her doll snug on her shoulder. JOHN sits on the edge 
of the bed, in his underwear.

				PEARL
		Tell me a story, John.

				JOHN
		Once upon a time there was a rich king...

He sees the shadows on the wall and gets up and looks at them.

				JOHN
		... and he had him a son and a daughter and 
		they all lived in a castle over in Africa.  
		Well, one day this king got taken away by bad 
		men and before he got took off he told his son 
		to kill anyone that tried to steal their gold, 
		and before long these bad men come back and --

				PEARL
		The Blue Men?

He moves and as his shadow moves away we see the shadow of PREACHER, 
motionless.  PEARL sits up and points at it.  JOHN notices her and sees it.  
We PAN JOHN to the window.  He looks out.

FULL SHOT -- PREACHER -- THROUGH WINDOW -- JOHN'S VIEWPOINT
He stands motionless.

RESUME PREVIOUS SHOT -- JOHN AT WINDOW
He turns and we PAN him to bed.

				JOHN
			(casually)
		Just a man.

He climbs into bed and pulls up the covers.

				JOHN
		Goodnight, Pearl, sleep tight; and don't let 
		the bedbugs bite.

				PEARL
			(to doll)
		'Night, Miss Jenny; don't let the bedbugs bite.

As they settle down we hear PREACHER's singing, sweet and quiet o.s.: 
"Leaning on the Everlasting Arms."

					DISSOLVE TO

EXT. RIVER AND TOWN -- MORNING -- FULL SHOT -- A GINGERBREAD SIDE-WHEELER
She steams around a bend towards a toy-like small town.  PREACHER's song, 
o.s., TIES OVER.  People are waving from shore and boat.

FULL PANNING SHOT -- THE BOAT, FROM SHORE
We PAN her into frame UNCLE BIRDIE STEPTOE's toy-like little wharf-boat.  As 
she passes broadside we CUT TO

MEDIUM SHOT -- BIRDIE, THEN JOHN
... as boat passes.  BIRDIE's head sticks through a porthole.  He is a wiry 
old river character.  The boat whistles.  As BIRDIE speaks we PAN JOHN, and 
foundered skiff, into TWO-SHOT with BIRDIE.

				BIRDIE
		She don't put in at Cresap's Landing no more, 
		but she still blows as she passes.  Come on in 
		and have a cup of coffee.
			
				JOHN
		Ain't nobody stole Dad's skiff.

				BIRDIE
		Ain't nobody goin' to neither, long as Uncle 
		Birdie's around.

He vanishes from the porthole.  We PAN JOHN from skiff to wharf and BIRDIE's 
door.

				BIRDIE'S VOICE
			(calling o.s.)
		First day my jints is limber enough, I'll haul 
		her up and give her a good caulkin'.

INT. BIRDIE'S BOAT -- TWO-SHOT -- JOHN AND BIRDIE
JOHN enters and sits on a box.  BIRDIE, in a ramshackle rocking chair, pours 
coffee.  BESS's photograph on chest near BIRDIE.

				BIRDIE
		Ain't seen you in a coon's age, Johnny.

				JOHN 
		I been mindin' Pearl.

				BIRDIE
		Pshaw, now!  Ain't it a caution what women'll 
		load onto a feller's back when he ain't lookin'?

He gives JOHN a cup of coffee.

				BIRDIE
		'Scuse me, Cap, while I sweeten up my coffee.

He fetches a liquor bottle from beneath the rocking chair; about to pour, he 
does a take at BESS'S PHOTOGRAPH.

INSERT -- THE PHOTOGRAPH
It stands in a cabinet frame: A fine-looking young woman in archaic dress, 
with sharp, accusing black eyes.

				BIRDIE'S VOICE (o.s.)
		Dead and gone these twenty-five years and never 
		takes her eyes off me.

CUT OVER his line to --

CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- JOHN AND BIRDIE
He turns the picture away and splashes liquor into his coffee.

				BIRDIE
			(pouring)
		Man o' my years needs a little snort to get his 
		boiler heated of a morning.

They drink.  BIRDIE, satisfied, sighs and rocks.

				BIRDIE
		This mornin' I was talkin' to this stranger 
		up at the boardinghouse.  He knowed your Dad!

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN 
JOHN looks cautious.

				JOHN
		Where'd he know Dad?

CLOSE SHOT - BIRDIE
BIRDIE's face falls; he takes another drink.

				BIRDIE
		Well, boy, I'll not hide the truth; it was up 
		at Moundsville Penitentiary.

CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- NEW ANGLE
JOHN puts his cup down and gets up.

				JOHN 
		I got to go now, Uncle Birdie.

				BIRDIE
		Why, shucks, boy, you just got here.

				JOHN
			(running)
		I told Mom I'd be back to Spoon's for Pearl.

EXT. STREET -- MEDIUM SHOT -- JOHN
He runs up the street close to Spoon's and stops dead.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN
He is horrified by what he sees.

INT. SPOON'S ICE CREAM PARLOR
GROUP SHOT through door-glass, from JOHN'S VIEWPOINT:

PREACHER, WILLA and PEARL surround a little table.  WALT stands by, puffing 
his pipe.  ICEY, in BACKGROUND, stirs fudge at a little soda-fountain stove.  
WILLA looks both moved and pleased.  PEARL, shyly flirting with PREACHER, all 
but hides in WILLA's skirts.  PREACHER dandles PEARL's doll on his knee as he 
talks.  All the grown-ups are avid for his words, which we don't hear through 
the glass.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN
We SHOOT THROUGH the DOOR; he quietly enters.

GROUP SHOT
They look casually to JOHN, and continue talking.

				ICEY
			(stirring, with a meaningful 
			 glance at Willa)
		God works in a mysterious way, His wonders to 
		perform.

OVER this JOHN ENTERS the SHOT and stands at the fringe of the GROUP, staring 
at PREACHER's hands and at the doll.

				PREACHER
		I was with Brother Harper almost to the end...

GROUP SHOT -- NEW ANGLE -- FAVORING JOHN AND PREACHER

				PREACHER
			(continuing)
		... and now that I'm no longer employed by the 
		Penitentiary, it is my joy to bring this small 
		comfort to his loved ones.

FLASH-CUT CLOSE-UP -- JOHN
On "Penitentiary" he glances quickly at PREACHER's face; then back to his 
hands.

GROUP SHOT -- ICEY

				ICEY
			(sniffing)
		It's a mighty good man would come out of his 
		way to bring a word of cheer to a grieving 
		widow!

CLOSE SHOT -- WALT

				WALT
		So you ain't with the State no more?

GROUP SHOT -- FAVORING PREACHER AND JOHN

				PREACHER
		No, Brother; I resigned only yesterday.  The 
		heart-renderin' spectacle of them poor men was 
		too much for me.

He becomes aware of JOHN's staring.

				PREACHER
		Ah, little lad, you're staring at my fingers.

He hands the doll to PEARL.  JOHN's eyes follow the doll.  PREACHER holds up 
both hands to JOHN.  JOHN looks back at his hands.

				PREACHER
		Shall I tell you the little story of Right-Hand-
		Left-Hand -- the tale of Good and Evil? 

JOHN stands still.  PEARL, with her doll, crosses to PREACHER and twines 
about his knee.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN
He looks on, in dumb alarm.

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER

				PREACHER
		H-A-T-E!
			(he thrusts up his left hand)
		It was with this left hand that old brother 
		Cain struck the blow that laid his brother low! 
		L-O-V-E!
			(he thrusts up his left hand)
		See these here fingers, dear friends!  These 
		fingers has veins that run straight to the soul 
		of man!  The right hand, friends!  The hand of 
		love!

GROUP SHOT -- ICEY, WALT, WILLA -- OVER PREACHER'S HANDS
They are impressed in their different ways.

				PREACHER (o.s.)
		Now watch and I'll show you the Story of Life.  
		The fingers of these hands, dear hearts! -- 
		They're always a-tuggin' and a-warrin', one 
		hand agin t'other. 

He locks his fingers and writhes them, cracking the joints.

				PREACHER
		Look at 'em, dear hearts!

MEDIUM SHOT -- JOHN -- OVER PREACHER'S HANDS
He looks on with unseeing eyes.

				PREACHER (o.s.)
		Old Left Hand Hate's a-fightin' and it looks 
		like Old Right Hand Love's a goner!

GROUP SHOT -- WALT, ICEY, WILLA -- OVER HANDS

				PREACHER (o.s.)
		But wait now!  Hot dog!  Love's a winnin'! 
		Yessirree!

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER

				PREACHER 
		It's Love that won!  Old Left Hand HATE gone 
		down for the count!

He crashes both hands down to the table.

FULL SHOT -- THE WHOLE GROUP
Slight applause from the ADULTS.  PREACHER takes PEARL with her doll, onto 
his lap.

				ICEY
		I never heard it better told.  I wish every 
		soul in this community could git the benefit.  
		You jest got to stay for our church pick-nick 
		Sunday!

PEARL offers PREACHER the doll to kiss.  PREACHER complies.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN'S REACTION

RESUME GROUP SHOT

				PREACHER
			(finessing it)
		I must wend my way down River on the Lord's 
		work.

				ICEY
		You ain't leavin' in no hurry if we can help 
		it!

				WILLA
		John: take that look offen your face and act 
		nice.

				PREACHER
		He don't mean no impudence, do ya, boy?
			(no answer)
		Do you, boy?  Ah, many's the time poor Brother 
		Ben told me about these youngins.

				JOHN
		What did he tell you?

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER
He does a little take.  His eyes twinkle palely.

				PREACHER
		Why, he told me what fine little lambs you and 
		your sister both was.

GROUP SHOT

				JOHN
		Is that all?

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER
Something new enters his eyes; a game has begun between them.

				PREACHER
		Why, no, boy; he told me lots and lots of 
		things.  Nice things, boy.

A tight silence.  ICEY pours fudge into a buttered pan.

				PREACHER
		My, that fudge smells yummy!

CLOSE SHOT - ICEY

				ICEY
			(with horrid archness)
		It's for the pick-nick.  And you won't get a 
		smidgen of my fudge unless you stay for the 
		pick-nick!

Over her line, o.s., hymn-singing begins and now, over her "the case rests" 
smile, we bring up the singing and

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

EXT. THE RIVER-BANK - CHURCH IN B.G. - FULL SHOT - THE SINGING PICKNICKERS
A pleasant, grassy river-bank.  Few men in proportion to women and children.  
We CENTER PREACHER.  They are singing "Brighten the Corner;" PREACHER sings 
conspicuously well.  The women watch him and admire him.  He gives WILLA the 
eye as we PAN to CENTER WILLA, who looks wooed and self-conscious.  ICEY 
enters the SHOT and whispers and beckons WILLA and, as the singing continues, 
they leave the group and start towards a shade tree in MEDIUM GROUND, which 
we PAN TO CENTER.

FULL SHOT -- WILLA AND ICEY
They walk; singers in BACKGROUND.

				ICEY
		Don't he have the grandest singin' voice?

WILLA nods.  ICEY, looking ahead, is displeased.

MEDIUM SHOT -- THE TREE, JOHN AND PEARL
They sit on the bench, their backs to us, partly concealed by the tree trunk.

				ICEY'S VOICE
			(sharp)
		John!  Pearl!

They look around.  ICEY and WILLA enter the SHOT, their backs to us.

				ICEY
		Run along and play, you two.

				JOHN
		Where?

				ICEY
		Down by the river.  My goodness!

Docile, they leave the shot as WILLA and ICEY approach the bench.

CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- WILLA AND ICEY
They sit on the bench, their backs to us.  The CHILDREN recede towards the 
river in BACKGROUND.  WILLA meekly keeps her head down.  Singing continues 
o.s.

				ICEY
		That feller's just achin' to settle down with 
		some nice woman and make a home for himself.

				WILLA
		It's awful soon after Ben's passing.

				ICEY
		If ever I saw a sign from Heaven!

				WILLA
		John don't like him much.

				ICEY
		Pearl dotes on him.

				WILLA
		The boy worries me.  It's silly, but it's like 
		there was something still between him and his 
		Dad.

				ICEY
		What he needs is a good dose o' salts!

				WILLA
		There's something else.

				ICEY
		What?

				WILLA
		The money, Icey.

				ICEY
		I declare, you'll let that money haunt you to 
		your grave, Willa Harper!

				WILLA
		I would love to be satisfied Harry Powell don't 
		think I've got that money somewhere.

				ICEY
		You'll come right out and ask that Man of God!
			(turning and yelling)
		Mr. Paow-well!
			(to Willa)
		Clear that evil mud out of your soul!

PREACHER starts towards her.  ICEY pivots and we PAN OVER her to CHILDREN by
the river.

				ICEY
			(yelling)
		John!  Pearl!

CLOSE SHOT -- PEARL AND JOHN
JOHN looks up from pebble-skimming and loosens his tie.

				ICEY
			(yelling o.s.)
		Come along hee-ere and get some fuu-udge!

				JOHN
			(calling)
		I don't want no fudge.

His brow is furrowed.  He skims another pebble.

				ICEY
			(shouting o.s.)
		You'll do what you're told!

They unwillingly get moving.

RESUME TWO-SHOT -- ICEY AND WILLA

				ICEY
		You go set down by the River.

				WILLA
			(getting up)
		Oh, Icey, I'm a sight!

				ICEY
		Get along with you.

Both women set off, WILLA to River, ICEY towards GROUP.  We TRACK after ICEY.
PREACHER approaches.  ICEY, crossing him, gives him a little shove towards 
WILLA and a coy --

				ICEY
		You!!!

CLOSE GROUP SHOT -- ICEY AND WOMEN, FAVORING ICEY
... a few men in BACKGROUND, and, beyond them, PREACHER sits down by WILLA at 
water's edge.  JOHN and PEARL approach.  As ICEY starts yammering, the men, 
WALT among them, shyly withdraw.

				ICEY
		That young lady'd better look sharp or some 
		smart sister between here and Captina's a-gonna 
		snap him up right from under her nose!

They nod and agree, ad lib.

				ICEY
		She's not the only fish in the river!

More agreement.  JOHN and PEARL join ICEY.  ICEY speaks to JOHN.

				ICEY
		Now, you two stay put!

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN
He looks hard towards WILLA and PREACHER o.s.

				ICEY
			(o.s., to women)
		Shilly-shallying around ...

LONG SHOT -- WILLA AND PREACHER
... from JOHN'S VIEWPOINT in tableau of decorous courtship, framed by heavy 
domestic bodies.

				ICEY (o.s.)
		A husband's one piece of store goods ye never 
		know till you get it home and take the paper 
		off.

CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- WILLA AND PREACHER
They sit by the water; drooping willows; almost in travesty of a romantic 
scene.  WILLA dabbles one hand in the water.

				WILLA
			(very shy)
		Did Ben Harper ever tell you what he done with 
		that money he stole?

HEAD CLOSE-UP -- PREACHER
His head goes slantwise and he smiles oddly.

				PREACHER
		My dear child, don't you know?

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN
He watches intently towards his mother; PEARL holds his hand.  ICEY's voice
o.s.

GROUP SHOT -- WOMEN, JOHN AND PEARL

				ICEY
		She's moonin' about Ben Harper.  That wasn't 
		love, it was just flapdoodle.
			(agreeing nods and murmurs)
		Have some fudge, lambs.

She hands some down to JOHN and PEARL.  PEARL smears her mouth with it;  
JOHN, watching always towards his mother, takes one nibble and throws the 
rest away.

				ICEY
		When you're married forty years, you know all 
		that don't amount to a hill o' beans!  I been 
		married to my Walt that long, and I'd swear in 
		all that time I'd just lie there thinking about 
		my canning.

In BACKGROUND WALT looks sheepish.

				WILLA'S VOICE
			(calling o.s.)
		John!  John?

All look towards her.

LONG SHOT -- OVER GROUP
WILLA is standing, beckoning JOHN.

MEDIUM TWO-SHOT -- JOHN AND PEARL
They start towards their mother.

GROUP SHOT -- ICEY AND WOMEN -- NEW ANGLE

				ICEY
		A woman's a fool to marry for that.  It's 
		something for a man.  The good Lord never meant 
		for a decent woman to want that -- not really 
		want it!  It's all just a fake and a pipe dream.

The others agree with her.  She puts a piece of fudge in her mouth.

CLOSE GROUP SHOT -- PREACHER, WILLA, CHILDREN
... as JOHN and PEARL (with DOLL) come shyly up.  WILLA is seated again.  She
is radiant.

				WILLA
		John, Mr. Powell has got something to tell you.

				PREACHER
		Well, John, the night before your father died, 
		he told me what he did with that money. 

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN  
He desperately conceals his reaction; he thinks BEN has betrayed him.

RESUME GROUP SHOT

				PREACHER
		That money's at the bottom of the river, 
		wrapped around a twelve-pound cobblestone.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN AND PEARL
He now conceals his new reaction.

RESUME GROUP SHOT
WILLA touches PREACHER's hand, warmly.

				WILLA
		Thank you, Harry.

She looks all around her, glowing, and stands up, hands to hair.

				PEARL
		John...

				JOHN
		Sshhh...

				WILLA
		I feel clean now!  My whole body's just 
		a-quivering with cleanness!

She walks away towards ICEY and the WOMEN.

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER

				PREACHER
		John: here.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN AND PEARL
JOHN moves to stand in front of him; PEARL to stand beside PREACHER, with the 
DOLL.

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER AND CHILDREN
From JOHN's eye-level; as JOHN steps in front of him and PEARL beside him.

				PREACHER
		Your tie's crooked.

HEAD CLOSE-UP -- JOHN
The hand named LOVE and the hand named HATE come in to straighten the 
necktie. JOHN looks down.  He looks up and sees:

GROUP SHOT -- JOHN'S VIEWPOINT
PREACHER, in close-up, hands busy o.s.; PEARL with doll; and between them, in 
BACKGROUND, WILLA.  She is now running fast towards ICEY, who walks towards 
her with arms outstretched.  Behind them the group of WOMEN.  BIRDIE's guitar 
music begins o.s.

					DISSOLVE TO

EXT. BIRDIE'S BOAT -- EVENING -- MEDIUM SHOT -- BIRDIE, JOHN AND SKIFF
BIRDIE sits beside his open door, strumming a guitar and singing.  The scene 
is lamplighted from within.  BEN's skiff is inverted on trestles in 
FOREGROUND.  At start of scene, we see only JOHN's feet; he's under the skiff 
examining it.  After three lines of song, he comes out from under, and 
lounges against the skiff, tracing a tarry seam with his forefinger.

				BIRDIE
			(singing)
		'Twas down at Cresap's Landing, Along the River 
  		Shore, Birdie Steptoe was a Pilot in the good 
		old days of yore.  Now he sets in his old 
		wharf-boat...

				JOHN
			(across him)
		When'll Dad's skiff be ready?

				BIRDIE
		Can't hear ye, boy.
			(singing)
		So the big boats heave a sigh, They blow for 
		Uncle Birdie...

				JOHN
			(across him)
		When'll the skiff be ready?


				BIRDIE
			(singing)
		And the times that are gone by.  I'll have her 
		ready inside of a week; and then we'll go 
		fishin'.  How's your Maw?

Through rest of scene BIRDIE picks lazily at his guitar.

				JOHN
		O, she's all right.

				BIRDIE
		How's your sister Pearl?

				JOHN
		Just fine.

He gets up.

				BIRDIE
		Leavin', boy?

				JOHN
		Yep; gotta watch out for Pearl, Uncle Birdie.

				BIRDIE
		Well, goodnight, boy.  Come again -- any time.

JOHN leaves the SHOT.

				BIRDIE
		And mind now -- I'll have your Paw's skiff in 
		ship-shape, 'side of a week.

MOVING SHOT -- JOHN
As he runs past SPOON's, looking in, he is curious.

MOVING SHOT -- SPOON'S, HIS VIEWPOINT
ICEY embraces WILLA or waltzes her around; WALT looks on, pleased.

FULL SHOT -- JOHN
He hurries away from us towards home.

FRAMING SHOT -- THE HARPER HOUSE
In the otherwise dark house, one window is lighted.  JOHN enters the SHOT, 
his back to us.  Seeing the lighted window, he hesitates.

				JOHN
			(softly)
		Is somebody there?

Silent pause, listening; then he walks cautiously towards us.

FULL SHOT -- JOHN
A tall, narrow shooting-frame; right and left thirds of screen are black.  We
SHOOT from inside the screen door.  JOHN crosses the porch and softly opens 
the door and enters on tiptoe and pauses, close to us, in the dark hallway, 
listening sharp.

				JOHN
			(softly)
		Is somebody here?

Silence.  Relieved, but puzzled, he tiptoes along towards the rear of the 
hallway in CLOSE-UP as we PULL AWAY.  We bring in the bottom of the stairs.

				PREACHER'S VOICE (o.s.)
		Good evening, John.

JOHN gasps, peering, and looks up.

TWO-SHOT -- JOHN AND THE PREACHER -- NARROW SCREEN
PREACHER looks at JOHN; JOHN sinks onto the edge of a chair. PREACHER sits 
opposite.  A bar of light from door falls on PREACHER's face.

				PREACHER
		I had a little talk with your mother tonight, 
		John; and your mother decided it might be best 
		for me to -- let you know the news.

From JOHN, just a questioning helpless reaction.

				PREACHER
		Your mother told me tonight she wanted me to be 
		a daddy to you and your sister.  We're going to 
		get married, son.

JOHN is still.

				PREACHER
		Did you hear what I said, son?

				JOHN
		Huh?

				PREACHER
		Married!  We have decided to go to Sistersville 
		tomorrow, and when we come back --

				JOHN
			(breathing it)
		You ain't my Dad!  You won't never be my dad!
 
				PREACHER
			(obsessed, disregarding him)
		-- and when we come back, we'll all be friends --
		and share our fortunes together, John!

				JOHN
			(screaming)
		You think you can make me tell!  But I won't!  I 
		won't!  I won't!

He gawks at his own folly, covers his moth with his hand and looks up at 
PREACHER.

				PREACHER
			(softly)
		Tell me what, boy?

				JOHN
		Nothin'!

				PREACHER
		Are we keeping secrets from each other, little 
		lad?

				JOHN
		No.  No.

PREACHER stiffens, relaxes, and chuckles softly.

				PREACHER
		No matter, boy, we've got a long time together.

CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- JOHN AND PREACHER
JOHN starts for the stairs.

					DISSOLVE TO

EXT. HARPER YARD -- MORNING -- CLOSE SHOT -- BEN'S FORD
It stands vibrating, then moves out of shot with receding engine sound o.s., 
disclosing:

TWO-SHOT -- JOHN AND PEARL
ICEY's skirts in BACKGROUND.  They are awfully spic-and-span; they even wear 
shoes.

				ICEY (o.s.)
		Wave yer hands!  Great sakes!

They wave after the car, bewilderedly.

				ICEY (o.s.)
		You wait here while I get your night things.

She hustles out of shot.

				PEARL
		Now can I tell?

				JOHN
		Hm?

				PEARL
		When Mr. Powell's our Daddy, then can I tell 
		him about--

His hand clamps over her mouth.  She struggles and whimpers.

				JOHN
		You swore, Pearl!

				PEARL
			(across him)
		John!  Don't!

				JOHN
		You promised Dad you wouldn't never tell!

He takes his hand away but holds it ready.

				PEARL
		I love Mr. Powell lots and lots, John.

JOHN grabs her by the shoulders and glares.

				JOHN
		Don't you tell!  Don't you NEVER DARE tell!

Over them we

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

SHOULDER CLOSE-UP -- WILLA
She is caressing her shoulders.

FULL SHOT -- WILLA
Her back is to us.  She is in a pathetic night dress; she stands before a 
mirror in a hotel bedroom in Sistersville.  She walks to the door.

INSERT -- WILLA'S HAND
It hesitates on the doorknob.

CLOSE SHOT -- WILLA
Shooting OVER her as she opens the door, we see PREACHER in bed, his back to 
us.  Beyond him, a window.  The drawn shade rustles quietly.

CLOSE SHOT -- THE DOOR
... from within the room. WILLA closes the door on which PREACHER's coat 
hangs.  The closing brings a knocking sound.  WILLA feels the outside of the 
coat; feels something hard; takes out the knife and looks at it.

INSERT -- THE KNIFE IN HER HAND

CLOSE SHOT -- WILLA
A moment of perplexity; then a little smile.

				WILLA
			(whispering)
		Oh!  It's... uh...

She puts it back in the pocket and gives the pocket a pat.  She starts 
towards the bed.

TWO-SHOT -- WILLA AND PREACHER
We SHOOT OVER PREACHER as she approaches modestly and stands by the bed.

				WILLA
			(softly)
		Harry...

His hand comes up; she puts out her own, expecting a loving hand-clasp; but 
PREACHER points to the window.

				PREACHER
		Fix that window shade.

Startled, then again tender, she moves to:

CLOSE SHOT -- WILLA AT WINDOW
She adjusts the shade, looking always towards the bed.  She smiles 
maternally.  As we PULL BACK and PAN into FULL SHOT OF BED, she comes to the 
bed and sits on the edge and slips off her mules.  PREACHER's back is to her.

				WILLA
			(softly)
		Harry!
				
				PREACHER
			(cool and clear)
		I was praying.

				WILLA
		Oh, I'm sorry, Harry!  I didn't know!  I 
		thought maybe--

With a sounding of bedsprings, PREACHER turns.  His voice is quiet and cold.

				PREACHER
		You thought, Willa, that the moment you walked 
		in that door, I'd start in to pawing you in the 
		abominable way men are supposed to do on their 
		wedding night.  Ain't that right now?

				WILLA
		No, Harry!  I thought--

				PREACHER
		I think it's time we got one thing perfectly 
		clear, Willa.  Marriage to me represents a 
		blending of two spirits in the sight of Heaven. 

He gets out of bed.  WILLA puts her face down to the pillow and moans.  
PREACHER snaps on a harsh bare bulb at center of room.

				PREACHER
			(quietly)
		Get up Willa. 

				WILLA
		Harry, what--

				PREACHER
		Get up.

She obeys.

				PREACHER
		Now go and look at yourself yonder in that mirror. 

WILLA hesitates.

FULL SHOT -- OVER PREACHER -- CENTERING A STAINED BUREAU MIRROR

				PREACHER
		Do as I say.

WILLA walks to meet her image in the mirror; her eyes on PREACHER.

				PREACHER
		Look at yourself.

Her head drops, facing the mirror.

CLOSE SHOT -- WILLA, PREACHER, BULB
WILLA is in HEAD CLOSE-UP; bulb hangs at center; PREACHER, in his nightshirt,
is beyond it.

				PREACHER
		What do you see girl? 

Her mouth trembles; she can't talk.

				PREACHER
		You see the body of a woman!  The temple of 
		creation and motherhood.  You see the flesh of 
		Eve that man since Adam has profaned.  That body 
		was meant for begetting children.  It was not 
		meant for the lust of men. 

WILLA just opens her mouth.

				PREACHER
		Do you want more children, Willa? 


				WILLA
		I-- no, I--


				PREACHER
		It's the business of our marriage to mind those 
		two you have now -- not to beget more.

				WILLA 
		Yes.

He stands watching her for a moment; then he snaps off the light and gets 
into bed.

				PREACHER
		You can get back into bed now and stop 
		shivering.

				WILLA 
			(whispering)
		Help me to get clean so I can be what Harry 
		wants me to be.

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

INSERT -- A TORCH OR RAILROAD FLARE

				VOICES (o.s.)
		AAA-MEN!

GROUP SHOT -- CONGREGATION
A dozen country men and women in religious ecstasy.

(NOTE: No set necessary for this scene.  Flare, or flares, in every SHOT.  
Faces lighted by flares.)

				CONGREGATION
		AAA-MEN!

				WILLA
			(o.s., very loud)
		You have all sinned!

				CONGREGATION
		Yes!  Yes!

HEAD CLOSE-UP -- WILLA

				WILLA
		But which one of you can say, as I can say: I 
		drove a good man to murder because I kept 
		a-houndin' him, for clothes and per-fumes and 
		face paint!

GROUP SHOT -- CONGREGATION

				WILLA (o.s.)
		And he slew two human beings and he come to me 
		and he said: Take this money and buy your 
		per-fumes and paint! 

FULL FIGURE SHOT -- WILLA, STANDING; PREACHER STANDING IN B.G.

				WILLA 
		But Brethren, that's where the Lord stepped in! 
		That's where the LORD stepped in!

				PREACHER
		Yes!

				CONGREGATION (o.s.)
		Yes!  Yes!

GROUP SHOT -- CONGREGATION

				WILLA
			(o.s., screaming)
		And the Lord told that man--

				CONGREGATION 
		Yes!  Yes!

CLOSE SHOT -- WILLA

				WILLA
		The Lord said, take that money and throw it in 
		the River!

				CONGREGATION (o.s.)
		Yes!  Yes!  Hallelujah!

				WILLA
		Throw that money in the River!  In THE RIVER!

				CONGREGATION (o.s.)
		IN THE RIIV-ER!

					CUT TO

EXTREME CLOSE DOWN-SHOT -- PEARL'S DOLL
It lies face down on arbor bricks, its back wide open; money spilling out.  A 
little breeze toys with the money.  HOLD, a moment in silence.  Then we hear 
a snipping sound o.s.  TILT UPWARD into --

CLOSE SHOT -- PEARL
She sits at the end of the grape-arbor.  She finishes cutting a skirted 
paper-doll out of a hundred dollar bill and lays it down beside a male 
hundred dollar paper-doll.  She pats the dolls.

				PEARL
		Now!  You're John -- and you're Pearl.

				JOHN'S VOICE
			(o.s., calling)
		Pearl?  ...  Pearl?

PEARL starts guiltily and looks towards him, scrambling money together. 
JOHN's footsteps o.s.

				PEARL
		You'll get awful mad, John.  I done a Sin!

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN -- PEARL'S ANGLE

				JOHN
		You what?

He hears the frantic rustling of paper --

				JOHN
			(aghast)
		Pearl!  You ain't--

CLOSE SHOT -- PEARL, OVER JOHN

				PEARL
		John, don't be mad!  Don't be mad!  I was just 
		playing with it!  I didn't tell no one!

FLASH CUT CLOSE-UP -- JOHN
... as he stoops towards her, dumb with horror.

CLOSE SHOT -- PEARL
She continues to gather the money together.

				PEARL
			(pleading)
		It's all here.

CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- JOHN AND PEARL

				JOHN
		Pearl!  Oh, Pearl!

She's stuffing bills back into the torn doll.  They slide through her 
fingers.  He helps.

FLASH INSERT -- PREACHER'S FOOT
... as he plants it, with sound, in damp grass.

CLOSE SHOT -- THE CHILDREN
JOHN freezes.

				PREACHER'S VOICE (o.s.)
		John?

				JOHN
		Oh -- yes?

LONG SHOT -- PREACHER -- CHILDREN'S VIEWPOINT
He stands at far end of arbor.

				PREACHER
		What are you doing, boy?

LONG SHOT -- CHILDREN -- PREACHER'S VIEWPOINT

				JOHN
		Getting Pearl to bed.  I--

				PREACHER
		What's taking you so long about it?

FLASH INSERT -- THEIR FRANTIC HANDS, MONEY, THE DOLL

				JOHN (o.s.)
		It-- she--

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER -- PEERING TOWARDS THEM

				PREACHER
		What's that you're playing with, boy?

LONG SHOT -- CHILDREN -- PREACHER'S VIEWPOINT

				JOHN
		Pearl's junk.  Mom gets mad when she plays out 
		here and don't clean up afterward.

				PREACHER
		Come on, children!

INSERT -- JOHN'S HANDS PIN THE DOLL TOGETHER

FULL SHOT -- CHILDREN
They stand up, look towards PREACHER, and slowly start towards him.  The two 
forgotten paper-dolls are blown towards him too.

MOVING SHOT -- PREACHER -- JOHN'S VIEWPOINT
PREACHER's watch-chain gleams.  The shot SLOWLY CLOSES DOWN on it and becomes 
still.  We see the paper-dolls blow past him.

				PREACHER'S VOICE
		Now, up to bed with the both of you.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN AND PEARL
JOHN starts to laugh uncontrollably.  We PAN them past PREACHER's stomach 
into FULL SHOT.

				PREACHER'S VOICE
		Come here, John.  Run along, Pearl.

PEARL goes, JOHN comes towards PREACHER.

PREACHER -- JOHN'S VIEWPOINT

				PREACHER
		Your mother says you tattled on me, boy.  She 
		says you told her that I asked you where that 
		money was hid.

				JOHN (o.s.)
		Yes.  Yes.

				PREACHER
		That wasn't very nice of you, John.  Have a 
		heart, boy.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN
His helpless reaction.  Pause.

				PREACHER'S VOICE
		Run along to bed.

As JOHN turns away we

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

CLOSE SHOT -- WILLA IN PROFILE
...and PULL AWAY showing JOHN as he turns to her. (PEARL's head is turned 
away; she's asleep.)

				WILLA
		Were you impudent to Mr. Powell, John?

				JOHN
		Mom, I didn't mean--

				WILLA
		What were you impudent about?

				JOHN
		He asked me about the money again, Mom.

				WILLA
		You always make up that lie, John.  There is no 
		money, John.  Can't you get that through your 
		head?

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

CLOSE SHOT -- A GAR, UNDERWATER

CLOSE UPWARD TWO-SHOT -- JOHN AND BIRDIE
They look down into the water.

				BIRDIE
		Meanest, orneriest, sneakiest critter in the 
		whole river, boy!  A gar!

CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- JOHN AND BIRDIE
They sit up into it.

				JOHN
		Here's your can o' hooks, Uncle Birdie.

				BIRDIE
		There hain't nary a hook in the land smart 
		enough to hook Mister Gar.  What a feller needs 
		is mother-wit -- and a horse-hair.

Over this, he pulls horse-hair out of his hatband.  He sets to work rigging 
his noose.

				JOHN
		Won't he bust it, Uncle Birdie?

				BIRDIE
		Shoot, a horse-hair'll hold a lumpin' whale.

He puts over his line.  Pause.

				BIRDIE
		You don't mind my cussin', boy?

				JOHN
		No.

				BIRDIE
		Tell you why I ask -- your step-pa bein' a 
		Preacher an' all...

JOHN's lips go like string.  BIRDIE sees it.

				BIRDIE
		Never was much of a one for preachers myself.  
		I dunno what's wrong up at your place, but just 
		remember one thing, Cap -- if ever you need 
		help, you just holler out and come a-runnin'.  
		Old Uncle Birdie's your friend.

A powerful strike. BIRDIE lands the gar.  The air is full of sparkling water.

				BIRDIE
		There!  You slimy, snaggle-toothed, egg-suckin', 
		bait-stealin' so-and-so!

QUICK INSERT -- THE THUMPING FISH IN BOTTOM OF BOAT

FULL SHOT
He beats the fish with the heel of an old shoe.

				BIRDIE
			(beating)
		Mind what I told you.  If ever you get in a 
		crack just come a-runnin'.

Now there is no sound or thumping or beating.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN
Admiring BIRDIE, he squares his shoulders, full of confidence.

				JOHN
		Can we eat him, Uncle Birdie?

				BIRDIE
		If you got an appetite for bones and bitterness.

On this, he flings the dead gar in a wide arc out into the river.

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

INT. CHILDREN'S BEDROOM -- NIGHT
The children are ready for bed.

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER
Smiling awaiting an answer.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN

				JOHN
		I don't know.

TWO-SHOT -- JOHN AND PREACHER
PEARL plays unconcernedly in BACKGROUND.

				PREACHER
			(intimately)
		She thinks that money's in the river, but you 
		and me, we know better, don't we, boy?

				JOHN
		I don't know nothin'!

				PREACHER
		The summer is young yet, little lad.
			(he turns away from John)
		Pearl?

He holds out his hands to her; she comes to his lap, dropping her doll at his 
feet.  JOHN turns his back and looks out the window beside bureau.

				PREACHER
		John's a feller who likes to keep secrets.

				PEARL
		Mm-hm.

				PREACHER
		I'll tell you a secret.

				PEARL
		Yes?

				PREACHER
		I knowed your Daddy.

PEARL frowns.

				PREACHER
		And do you know what your Daddy said to me?  He 
		said, "Tell my little girl Pearl there's to be 
		no secrets between her and you."

INSERT -- JOHN'S HAND COMES TO REST BESIDE A HAIRBRUSH

RESUME TWO-SHOT -- PREACHER AND PEARL, JOHN IN B.G.

				PEARL
		Yes?

				PREACHER
		Now it's your turn.

				PEARL
		What secret shall I tell?

				PREACHER
		How old are you?

				PEARL
		That's no secret.  I'm five.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN -- PREACHER AND PEARL IN B.G.
A look of impotent hatred.

				PREACHER
		Sure, that's no secret.

RESUME TWO-SHOT

				PREACHER
			(continuing)
		What's your name?

				PEARL
			(giggling)
		You're just foolin'!  My name's Pearl.

				PREACHER
		Tst-tst!  Then I reckon I'll have to try again! 
		Where's the money hid?

JOHN throws the hairbrush, striking PREACHER's head.

				JOHN
			(screaming as he throws)
		You swore you wouldn't tell! 
			(he beats the air with his fists)
		You swore!  You swore!  You swore!

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER
He is sure know PEARL knows.

THREE-SHOT -- PEARL, PREACHER, JOHN

				PEARL
			(awed)
		You hit Daddy with a hairbrush! 

Another silence.

				PREACHER
			(cheerfully)
		You see?  We just can't have anything to do
		with John. 
			(light off)
		You and me will go down to the parlor.

				PEARL
		Miz Jenny!  Miz Jenny!

She gets the doll.  We PAN them through the door.

TWO-SHOT -- PREACHER AND PEARL 
Outside door as he closes it.

				PREACHER
		John's just plumb bad through and through--

CLOSE SHOT -- PEARL
As PREACHER's hand locks the door.

				PEARL
			(at door)
		Yes, John's just plumb bad.

					CUT TO

INT. SPOON'S ICE CREAM PARLOR -- THREE-SHOT -- WILLA, ICEY, WALT
We shoot over ICEY as WILLA opens the door to leave.  WILLA is in outdoor 
clothes and is not dressed for work in the parlor.

				WILLA
		That boy's as stubborn and mulish as a sheep!

				ICEY
		It's a shame!

WILLA's face shines like one possessed.

				WILLA
		Goodnight.

WALT enters the shot, his back to us.

				ICEY
		Goodnight, honey.

As WILLA starts away, we DOLLY THROUGH DOOR and PAN her to deserted street.  
There is a river mist.

TWO SHOT -- WALT AND ICEY
WALT is ill at ease.

RESUME SHOT ON WILLA

				ICEY
			(o.s., calling)
		Plan on a longer visit next time.

				WALT (o.s.)
		You don't hardly get settled till your frettin' 
		to git home again.

Again WILLA pauses and turns.

				WILLA
			(with sweet radiance, to Walt)
		I'm needed to keep peace and harmony between 
		them.
			(to Icey)
		It's my burden and I'm proud of it, Icey.

She walks off into the mist.
            
					LAP DISSOLVE TO

EXT. HARPER HOME -- NIGHT -- MEDIUM SHOT -- LIGHTED PARLOR WINDOW-
REST OF HOUSE DARK
Distant muffled sound of river-boat whistle.

				PEARL (o.s.)
		John's bad.

WILLA enters, her back to us; she stops.

				PREACHER
		Yes, John's bad.

				PEARL
		Tell me another secret about my dad.

CLOSE SHOT -- WILLA
She smiles benignly.

				PREACHER (o.s.)
		O no!  Your turn!

				PEARL
		All right.

				PREACHER
		Where's the money hid?

WILLA keeps smiling.

				PEARL
		John's bad.

				PREACHER
		Where's the money hid?  Tell me, you little 
		wretch, or I'll tear your arm off! 

Still smiling, shaking her head in disbelief, WILLA makes for house as PEARL 
screams.

INT. HARPER HALLWAY -- TWO-SHOT -- WILLA AND PREACHER
Narrow screen, same set-up as in earlier corridor scene, PREACHER and WILLA.  
Their eyes meet.  Pause.

				PREACHER
			(stunned)
		I didn't expect you home so soon.

CLOSE SHOT -- WILLA
She still smiles; her eyes turn to sound of PEARL's sobbing.

TWO SHOT -- AS BEFORE
PREACHER stands still; WILLA in BACKGROUND opens closet door where PEARL sobs.

					CUT TO

TWO SHOT -- WALT AND ICEY
...washing and drying glasses. ICEY is washing briskly, WALT is drying slowly.

				WALT
		Icey, I'm worried about Willa.

				ICEY
		How do you mean?

				WALT
		I'm figurin' how I can say it so's you won't get 
		mad.

				ICEY
		Say what, Walt Spoon!

				WALT
		There's something wrong about it, Mother.

				ICEY
		About what?

				WALT
		About Mr. Powell.  All of it!

				ICEY
		Walt!

				WALT
		Now, Mother, a body can't help their feelin's.

				ICEY
		May the Lord have mercy on you, Walt Spoon!

				WALT
		Mother, I only--

					CUT TO

INT. WILLA'S AND THE PREACHER'S BEDROOM -- FULL SHOT -- WILLA ON BED -- 
PREACHER IN BACKGROUND
WILLA lies in profile on the bed along the bottom of the frame.  A prim, old 
woman's nightdress makes her look like a child.  Her hands are clasped.  
PREACHER, fully dressed, stands at the window, which is in BACKGROUND towards 
foot of bed.  His coat, hung over a chair, is in silhouette.  River mist 
outside window halated by exterior gas-lamp.  The window shade is up.  She is 
mumbling in prayer.  She stops.

				PREACHER
			(his back still turned)
		Are you through praying?

				WILLA
		I'm through, Harry.

He turns.  WILLA is calm and immobile with the ecstasy of a martyr.

				PREACHER
		You were listening outside the parlor window.

				WILLA
		It's not in the river, is it, Harry?

				PREACHER
		Answer me!

				WILLA
		Ben never told you he throwed it in the river.
		Did he?

PREACHER hits her across the mouth.  A pause.

				WILLA
			(continues, unruffled)
		Then the children know where it is hid?  John 
		knows?  Is that it?  Then it's still here, 
		somewhere amongst us, taintin' us?

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER, LISTENING FOR A VOICE

RESUME TWO-SHOT

				WILLA
		So you must have known it all along, Harry.

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER, LISTENING
After a moment, the river boat whistle blows, nearer.  HOLD CLOSE-UP for a 
moment after whistle.

CLOSE DOWN-SHOT -- WILLA, SAINT-LIKE

				WILLA
		But that ain't why you married me, Harry.  I 
		know that much.  It couldn't be that because 
		the Lord just wouldn't let it.

RESUME TWO-SHOT -- WILLA

				WILLA
		He made you marry me, so's you could show me 
		the Way and the Life and the Salvation of my 
		soul!  Ain't that so, Harry? 

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER
He has heard the voice and starts to move out of CLOSE SHOT.

RESUME TWO-SHOT
He has moved over to the coat on back of chair.

CLOSE SHOT -- COAT
His hand goes into the pocket and brings the knife out.  (It is the same 
coat, and pocket, as in the wedding-night scene.)

RESUME TWO SHOT

				WILLA
		So you might say that it was the money that 
		brung us together. 

He pulls down the blind.  He moves toward the bed.

				WILLA
		The rest of it don't matter, Harry.

INSERT -- PREACHER'S HAND AND KNIFE
It clicks open.

RESUME TWO-SHOT
As he raises his arm to strike:

HEAD CLOSE-UP -- WILLA
...with foolish, ecstatic eyes.

				WILLA
		Bless us all!

					DISSOLVE TO

INT. CHILDREN'S BEDROOM -- FULL SHOT -- THE SHADOWS ON THE WALL
They are shaped as in earlier scene, but altered by mist.  Set-up as in 
earlier scene.  Over them we hear the whinny-and-catch and the failure of the 
Ford being cranked; once; then again: then JOHN's shadow moves on the wall 
and on a third cranking which engages the engine, we PAN TO WINDOW, shooting 
over JOHN, who peers out, into blind mist.  The gears of the car shift; the 
car moves away unseen; its sounds diminish slowly, and die.  A moment of 
silence; then JOHN turns and we PAN him to the bed.  He gets in beside PEARL, 
who is asleep, and, as we TIGHTEN IN CLOSE, puts his hand across the face of 
the doll.

					DISSOLVE TO

HEAD CLOSE-UP -- ICEY
An ominous expression.  She looks sharp to WALT, beckoning secretly, through 
rear screen door of kitchen, onto porch.

				ICEY
			(loud whisper)
		Walt!  Come quick!

FULL FIGURE SHOT -- WALT
He is scrubbing out an ice cream container on the back porch.  He looks up 
and moves towards her.

				WALT
			(natural voice)
		What's wrong, Mother?

MEDIUM CLOSE -- ICEY, THEN WALT

				ICEY
			(whisper)
		Sshhh!  He's in there.

WALT ENTERS SHOT with pipe.

				WALT
		Who?

				ICEY
			(whisper)
		Mr. Powell!
			(Walt looks enquiry)
		Willa has run away!

				WALT
		I'll be switched! ...

They enter the kitchen.  We hear muffled sounds of sobbing o.s.

MEDIUM CLOSE -- TWO-SHOT

				WALT
		Just went?

				ICEY
		She took out some time during the night -- in 
		that old Model-T --

WALT clucks his tongue.

				WALT
		Is he hit pretty bad?

				ICEY
		All to pieces!

WALT moves towards kitchen cabinet.

				WALT
		There's a little peach brandy -- maybe a sip?

				ICEY
		A man of the Cloth?

MEDIUM CLOSE SHOT -- WALT
He pours, snaps it down; weak-defiance.

MEDIUM CLOSE SHOT -- ICEY

				ICEY
		Walt Spoon, that's for sickness in the house!

MEDIUM CLOSE SHOT -- WALT
He looks towards o.s. sobbing.

				WALT
		What can we do, Mother?

TWO-SHOT

				ICEY
		I thought if you went and talked to him -- 
		another man --

MEDIUM SHOT -- PREACHER
He sits at a table, his back towards us, mumbling over his Bible.

TWO-SHOT -- WALT, ICEY BEHIND HIM, ENTERING THROUGH DOOR

				WALT
		Mister Powell?

				PREACHER
			(suddenly loud)
		A strange woman is a narrow pit!

				ICEY
			(a reverent whisper)
		Amen!  Amen!

				PREACHER
		She lieth and wait as for a prey.  And 
		increaseth the transgressors among men.

He closes his Bible and turns to them with weepy eyes and a brave little 
smile.

				PREACHER
		My dear, dear friends!  Whatever would I do 
		without you!		

CLOSE SHOT -- ICEY

				ICEY
			(wailing)
		Mister Powell!

THREE-SHOT -- NEW ANGLE

				WALT
		Is there anythin' -- anythin' ...?

				PREACHER
		It is my shame -- my crown of thorns.  And I 
		must wear it bravely.

				ICEY
		What could have possessed that girl?

				PREACHER
			(simply)
		Satan.

				ICEY
		Ah.

WALT sits across from PREACHER.  ICEY is at PREACHER's elbow.

				WALT
		Didn't you have no inkling?

				PREACHER
		Yes; from the first night.

				WALT
		The first night?

				PREACHER
		Our honeymoon.

CLOSE SHOT -- WALT

				WALT
		How's that?

TWO-SHOT -- PREACHER AND ICEY

				PREACHER
		She turned me out of the bed.

				ICEY
			(with pleasure)
		Nnnoooo!!

CLOSE SHOT -- WALT
Filling his pipe.

				WALT
		What do you figure to do?

TWO-SHOT -- PREACHER AND ICEY

				PREACHER
		Do?  Why, stay and take care of them little 
		kids.  Maybe it was never meant for a woman 
		like Willa to taint their young lives.

				ICEY
			(hands clasped; with approval)
		Mmmmm!

CLOSE SHOT -- WALT
Dabbing at moisture in the corner of his eye.

				WALT
		That's mighty brave of you, Reverend.

TWO-SHOT -- PREACHER AND ICEY

				PREACHER
		I reckon it's been ordained this way, Brother 
		Spoon.

CLOSE SHOT -- WALT

				WALT
		Didn't-- didn't she leave no word?

TWO-SHOT -- PREACHER AND ICEY

				PREACHER
		A scrawl.  On a piece of notepaper on the 
		bureau.

ICEY smiles sideways.

				PREACHER
		I burned it.

PREACHER holds out his hand, stares in disgust, and wipes his palm 
dramatically on his coat sleeve.

				PREACHER
		I tore it up and burned it -- it stank so 
		strong of hellfire.

				ICEY
		Amen.

				PREACHER
		The pitcher has went to the well once too often, 
		my friends.

CLOSE SHOT -- WALT

				WALT
		She'll come draggin' her tail back home.

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER

				PREACHER
		She'll not be back.  I reckon I'd be safe in 
		promising you that.

CLOSE SHOT -- WALT

				WALT
		Maybe she's just run off on a spree.

				PREACHER'S VOICE (o.s.)
		No!

				WALT
		Well, there's no harm in hopin'.

TWO-SHOT -- PREACHER AND ICEY

				PREACHER
		Ain't no sense in it, neither.  I figured 
		somethin' like this was brewin' when she went 
		to bed last night.

				ICEY
			(all woman)
		How?

				PREACHER
		She tarried around the kitchen after I'd gone 
		up, and when I went downstairs to see what was 
		wrong...

				ICEY
			(eagerly)
		What?

				PREACHER
		She'd found this fruit jar of dandelion wine...
			(Icey touches him)
		... that the husband -- Harper -- had hid 
		somewheres in the cellar.
			(playing his ace)
		She was drinking.

CLOSE SHOT -- ICEY
ICEY is happy to let her mouth fall open and let out a gasp.

CLOSE SHOT -- WALT
Sniffling.

THREE-SHOT -- PREACHER, ICEY, WALT

				PREACHER
		I tried to save her.

				ICEY
		I know you did, Reverend.  Oh, I know how you 
		tried!

				PREACHER
		The devil wins sometimes!

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER

				PREACHER
			(eyes upturned)
		Can't nobody say I didn't do my best to save 
		her!

					DISSOLVE TO

CLOSE UNDERWATER SHOT (Tank)
We PAN, with slowly streaming weeds, and bring in WILLA in close profile; the 
current, coming from behind her, drifts her long hair across her throat.

MEDIUM SHOT -- WILLA AND CAR
She is in profile as before--

CLOSE SHOT -- A BAITED HOOK
It descends and catches on the windshield, and the line tautens; then tugs.  
We start to follow the line up.

CLOSE SHOT -- ABOVE WATER -- THE LINE
We continue to follow the line up, and bring in, close, the stern of BEN 
HARPER's skiff.

MEDIUM SHOT -- UNCLE BIRDIE
He sits back, tugging unconcernedly at the line.  Then he leans over to see 
what's wrong.

CLOSE SHOT -- BIRDIE
... as he peers over side.

DOWNSHOT -- FULL SHOT OF CAR AND WILLA; BIRDIE'S VIEWPOINT

CLOSE SHOT -- BIRDIE, HORROR-STRICKEN

MOVING UNDERWATER SHOT -- WILLA
We hear PREACHER's voice o.s., singing:

				PREACHER (o.s.)
		Leaning! Leaning!  Safe and secure from all 
		alarms!

Meanwhile, we move vertically DOWNWARDS TOWARDS HER FACE, serene in death.  
We may or may not glimpse the gashed throat, through drifting hair.  

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

EXT. HARPER HOME -- FULL SHOT -- THE HOUSE AND TREE
PREACHER leans against the tree; he continues singing:

				PREACHER
		Leaning!  Leaning!  Leaning on the everlasting 
		arms!
			(seductively)
		Children!

CLOSER MOVING SHOT -- PREACHER
We start moving before he does.  LOW CAMERA; full figure.  We TILT to frame 
him from the waist downward and follow close behind him.  As he leaves the 
tree and walks along the side of the house; we TILT DOWNWARD and CLOSE IN, to 
follow only his feet; he steps past a tiny cellar window and we PAN and 
TIGHTEN IN CLOSE ON IT, into--

CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- JOHN AND PEARL
Their noses are flat against the glass; their cheeks touch; their window 
isn't quite big enough to hold both their heads.  It is on the ground; we 
don't see their chins.  They look towards the departed PREACHER.

				PREACHER'S VOICE (o.s.)
		Chill-dren?

PEARL, who is on the side PREACHER has left by, turns her head towards JOHN.

INT. CELLAR -- MEDIUM CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- JOHN AND PEARL
They are standing on a coal heap, faces at the window.

				PEARL
		John, why do we have to hide?

JOHN has taken charge.  He speaks very quietly, but calmly and cheerfully, as 
to an invalid.  He starts down the rustling coal-heap, helping PEARL down.

				JOHN
		Careful.

The following dialogue as they climb down, making as little noise as 
possible.  We PULL slowly away.

				PEARL
		Where's Mom?

				JOHN
		She's gone to Moundsville.

				PEARL
		To see Dad?

				JOHN
		Yes, I reckon that's it.

They have achieved the cellar floor.

				PREACHER'S VOICE 
			(more peremptorily outside)
		Children!

During the following dialogue we hear, o.s., the opening of a door, and 
PREACHER's footsteps indoors as he crosses floor, climbs stairs, and opens 
another door.

				JOHN
		Someone is after us, Pearl.

				PEARL
		I want to go upstairs.  It's cold and spidery 
		down here.  I'm hungry.

				JOHN
		Now, listen to me, Pearl.  You and me is 
		runnin' off tonight.

				PEARL
		Why?

				JOHN
		If we stay here, somethin' awful will happen to 
		us.

				PEARL
		Won't Daddy Powell take care of us?

				JOHN
		No, that's just it.  No.

FULL SHOT -- A ROOM UPSTAIRS
PREACHER looks under a bed.

RESUME CELLAR -- TWO-SHOT -- THE CHILDREN

				PEARL
		Where are we goin', John?

				JOHN
		Somewheres.  I don't know yet.

O.s., PREACHER's footsteps come down stairs; JOHN leads PEARL carefully past 
a rake, a hoe, and a shelf-prop and they crouch down into --

CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- JOHN AND PEARL
... beside an apple barrel.  PREACHER's footsteps cross kitchen, o.s.

				PEARL
		I'm hungry, John.

				JOHN
		We'll steal somethin' to eat.

				PEARL
		It'll spoil our supper.

				PREACHER'S VOICE (o.s.)
		Pearl?

Both look sharp towards cellar door o.s.

THE CELLAR DOOR -- THE CHILDREN'S VIEWPOINT
The door opens; PREACHER'S head, carrying a candle in holder, a white-washed 
wall and stairs are lighted.

				PREACHER'S VOICE 
		I hear you whisperin', children, so I know 
		you're down there. I can feel myself gettin' 
		awful mad, children. 

CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- THE CHILDREN

				PEARL
			(whispering)
		John...

JOHN claps his hand over her mouth.

CELLAR DOOR

				PREACHER'S VOICE 
		My patience has run out, children. I'm comin' 
		to find you now.

He clop-clops nearly to the bottom of the stairs.  ICEY's voice cuts 
cheerfully across his descent.

				ICEY
			(calling o.s.)
		Yoo-Hooooo!  Mis-ter Paow-welll!

He goes up the stairs and vanishes.  Light on wall through open door to 
kitchen.

				ICEY'S VOICE
		Just a little hot supper I fixed for you and 
		the children.

				PREACHER'S VOICE 
		Bless you, bless you!

				ICEY'S VOICE
		And how are the children?

				PREACHER'S VOICE 
		They're down there playin' games in the cellar 
		and they won't mind me when I call 'em.  I'm at 
		my wit's end, Miz Spoon.

ICEY clucks her tongue o.s.

				ICEY'S VOICE
			(yelling)
		John:  Pearl:

She appears at head of stairs.  Her voice crackles with authority.

				ICEY
		John!  Pearl!  Shake a leg!

She claps her hands smartly.

FULL SHOT -- THE KITCHEN -- OVER ICEY

				ICEY
			(continuing)
		I won't have you worrying poor Mister Powell 
		another minute.

A short pause; then the children, covered with coal-dust, emerge into the 
light and climb the stairs.  JOHN's head is hung in defeat.  As they enter 
the kitchen, we PULL BACK.

				ICEY
		Just look at you!  Dust and filth from top to 
		toe!

GROUP SHOT -- THE CHILDREN, OVER PREACHER AND ICEY

				ICEY
		Want me to take 'em up and wash 'em good?

				PREACHER
		Thank you, no.  Thank you, dear Icey.  I'll tend 
		to them.  Thank you.

ICEY pats JOHN's head.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN

				ICEY'S VOICE
		Don't be too hard on 'em, Reverend.  Poor 
		motherless children.

JOHN looks to PEARL and we PAN HER IN as PREACHER's hand named LOVE moves 
through her locks.  We PAN with PREACHER and ICEY as they move towards the
door.

				ICEY
		Remember now, Mister Powell, don't be afraid to 
		call on us. Good night.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN
He watches ICEY leave, o.s.

				PREACHER (o.s.)
		Good night, Miz Spoon, and thank you again.

FULL SHOT -- PREACHER AND ICEY
ICEY goes away along path outside. PREACHER, his back to us, watches her a 
moment, then turns.

				PREACHER
		Weren't you afraid, my little lambs, down there 
		in all that dark?

HEAD CLOSE-UP -- JOHN
Wondering what to do next.

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

CLOSE SHOT -- BIRDIE, OVER BESS'S PICTURE
We begin with HEAD CLOSE-UP of BIRDIE as he rocks, and PULL BACK.  He is 
rocking; and drunk.  A bottle stands beside the picture.  He turns and speaks 
to the picture.

				BIRDIE
		They'll think it was me!  They'll think it was 
		old Uncle Birdie. 

CLOSE SHOT -- BIRDIE -- NEW ANGLE
His hands grip the edge of the chest on either side of the picture, which we 
now see.

				BIRDIE
		If you'd o' seen it, Bess!  I'm drunk as a lord
		and I know it, but...

INSERT -- BESS'S PICTURE

				BIRDIE'S VOICE 
			(o.s., continuing)
		Sweet Heaven, if you'd o' seen it!

RESUME PREVIOUS SHOT
BIRDIE picks up the bottle.  His hand and the liquor tremble.

				BIRDIE
			(continuing)
		Down there in the deep place... her hair wavin' 
		lazy and soft like meadow grass under flood 
		waters, and that slit in her throat, just 
		like she had an extry mouth. 

INSERT -- BESS'S PICTURE

				BIRDIE'S VOICE (o.s.)
		And there ain't a mortal human I can tell but 
		you...

RESUME PREVIOUS SHOT

				BIRDIE
			(continuing)
		... Bess, for if I go to the Law, they'll hang 
		it on to me.

The bottle falls from his hand onto its side on the edge of the chest.

CLOSE SHOT -- BIRDIE -- NEW ANGLE
The reverse angle of the opening shot.  BIRDIE rocks heavily; liquor gurgles 
from bottle to floor.

				BIRDIE
		Sweet heavens, save poor old Uncle Birdie.

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

MEDIUM THREE-SHOT -- PREACHER, JOHN, PEARL
PREACHER sits at head of table. JOHN stands to PREACHER's right, around 
corner of table.  He remains expressionless and immobile until he speaks.
PEARL stands to JOHN's right, hugging the DOLL.  The table is loaded with 
good food.  PREACHER, well-fed and at leisure, dabs his mouth delicately with 
his napkin, folds it, puts it in a ring, and folds his hands.  He waits.

				PEARL
			(at last)
		I'm hungry.

				PREACHER
		Why, sure.  And there's fried chicken and 
		candied sweets and cornsticks and apple 
		cobbler!

				PEARL
		Can I have my supper, please?

				PREACHER
		Naturally.

				PEARL
		Can I have milk too?

				PREACHER
		Yes.  But, first of all, we'll have a little 
		talk.

PEARL frowns and puts her finger in her mouth; she remembers he twisted her 
arm.

				PREACHER
			(softly)
		About our secrets.

				PEARL
		No.

				PREACHER
		Why, pray tell?

				PEARL
		Because John said I mustn't.

THREE SHOT REVERSE -- PREACHER, OVER NECKS OF CHILDREN
He slaps the table; his eyes crackle.

				PREACHER
		NEVER--MIND--WHAT--JOHN--SAID!

PEARL starts to snivel.

				PREACHER
		John is a meddler.  Stop sniveling.  Looky here 
		a minute!

He brings out the knife.

				PREACHER
		Know what this is?

PEARL shakes her head for no.

				PREACHER
		Want to see something cute?  Looky now!

He touches the spring; the blade flicks open.

				PREACHER
		How about that!  This is what I use on 
		meddlers.

He lays the open knife on the table.

				PREACHER
		John might be a meddler.

THREE SHOT -- THE CHILDREN, OVER PREACHER
PEARL thinks the knife is a toy and crosses behind JOHN to pick it up.

				PREACHER
		NO -- no, my lamb.  Don't touch it!  Now, don't 
		touch my knife!  That makes me mad.  Very, very 
		mad.

She hugs the DOLL and he puts the hand named LOVE on her curls.

				PREACHER
		Just tell me now; where's the money hid?

				PEARL
			(affectionately)
		But I swore.  I promised John I wouldn't tell.

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER

				PREACHER
		JOHN--DOESN'T--MATTER!  Can't I get that 
		through your head, you poor silly, disgusting 
		little wretch! 

HEAD CLOSE-UP -- PEARL
Her mouth quivers; a large tear brims in her eyes.

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER

				PREACHER
		There now!  You made me lose my temper! 

THREE SHOT -- CHILDREN, OVER PREACHER

				PREACHER
		I'm sorry!  I'm real sorry! 

PEARL sniffles and wipes here eyes with her free fist.

				PREACHER
		Now!  Where's it hid, honey?

				JOHN
			(suddenly and lightly)
		I'll tell.

THREE SHOT -- PREACHER, OVER NAPES OF CHILDREN

				PREACHER
			(lightly)
		I thought I told you to keep your mouth shut--

				JOHN
			(light and quick)
		NO -- it ain't fair to make Pearl tell when she 
		swore she wouldn't.  I'll tell.

PREACHER's eyes crinkle and he turns to PEARL, smiling brightly.

				PREACHER
			(chuckling)
		Well, I declare!  Sometimes I think poor John 
		will make it to Heaven yet!

His eyes snap back to JOHN and his voice is like a whip.

				PREACHER
		All right, boy: where's the money?

HEAD CLOSE-UP -- JOHN

				JOHN
		In the cellar; buried under a stone in the 
		floor.

THREE SHOT -- PREACHER, OVER CHILDREN
He closes and pockets the knife.  His eyes never leave JOHN's.

				PREACHER
		It'll go hard, boy, if I find you're lyin'.

THREE SHOT -- CHILDREN, OVER PREACHER
PEARL gapes up at JOHN as he speaks.

				JOHN
		I ain't lyin'.  Go look for yourself.

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER
... as he gets up, cellar door in BACKGROUND.

				PREACHER
		All right...

He turns towards the door; then glances around.

				PREACHER
		Come along.

HEAD CLOSE-UP -- JOHN

				JOHN
		What?

THREE SHOT -- PREACHER, OVER CHILDREN

				PREACHER
		Go ahead of me -- the both of you.

They cross him towards the door.

FULL SHOT -- THE CELLAR STEPS -- FROM THE BOTTOM
The CHILDREN precede PREACHER, who carries a candle in holder.  PEARL is
gaping at JOHN's lie.  JOHN is looking left and right, casing the joint.

				PREACHER
			(continuing)
		You don't reckon I'd leave you?

				JOHN
			(with forced lightness)
		Don't you believe me?

				PREACHER
			(sardonically)
		Why sure, boy, sure.

Now they are at the bottom of the stairs.  JOHN sees PEARL's expression and 
takes her hand.

				PREACHER
		Now, where, boy?  Mind; no tricks.  I can't 
		abide liars.

				JOHN
		Yonder.

He squeezes PEARL's hand harder, and points.

FULL SHOT -- NEW ANGLE -- OVER THE THREE
JOHN points out a place beneath a shelf laden with Mason jars; it is at the 
most distant part of the cellar from the stairs.  PREACHER starts toward it, 
leaving them at foot of stairs, then turns, catching JOHN's ruse.

				PREACHER
			(sardonic)
		O no you don't!

He shepherds them ahead of him.

THREE SHOT -- NEW ANGLE
They arrive beneath the shelf.

				PREACHER
		Now: where?

				JOHN
			(lying magnificently; meeting
			 Preacher's eyes)
		Under the stone in the floor.

PREACHER sets the candle on a barrel near the shelf-prop and sinks to his 
knees below shot as PEARL gapes up at JOHN and JOHN looks stony.  She seems
about to speak.

FLASH INSERT -- JOHN SQUEEZES PEARL'S HAND HARD

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER, FEATURING FLOOR
His hands sweep dust and expose concrete.  He straightens on his knees and 
turns to the CHILDREN in close BACKGROUND.

HEAD CLOSE-UP -- PREACHER
... as he turns.

				PREACHER
		This is concrete.

CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- THE CHILDREN
A moment's silence.

				PEARL
		John made a Sin.  John told a lie.

THREE-SHOT -- FAVORING PREACHER
PREACHER gets slowly to his feet and puts on his "listening" look.  His
sincerity is beyond doubt.

				PREACHER
		The Lord's a-talkin' to me now.  He's a-sayin', 
		"a liar is an abomination before mine eyes."

He takes his knife out, and springs it open.

CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- FAVORING JOHN

				PREACHER
		Speak, boy: where's it hid?

The knife pricks the flesh under JOHN's ear.

				PREACHER
		Speak, before I cut your throat and leave you 
		to drip like a hog hung up in butcherin' time.

CLOSE SHOT -- PEARL
She starts to sob.

CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- JOHN AND PREACHER

				JOHN
		Pearl, shut up!  Pearl, you swore!

				PREACHER
		You could save him, little bird.

HEAD CLOSE-UP -- PEARL

				PEARL
			(crying)
              Inside my doll!  Inside my doll!

TWO-SHOT -- JOHN AND PREACHER, FAVORING PREACHER
PREACHER is astounded.  His hands fall away from JOHN.  He leans back against 
the wall and talks through laughter.

				PREACHER
		In the doll!  Why, sure! Sure! 

HEAD CLOSE-UP -- JOHN
His eyes are all over the place.

				PREACHER'S VOICE (o.s.)
		The last place anyone would look!

THREE-SHOT -- PREACHER, JOHN, PEARL
PREACHER makes a lunge across JOHN for the doll; JOHN, ducking under his arm, 
pulls PEARL forward with his left hand; he turns backwards and with his free 
hand, in one movement, knocks over the candle and pulls out the support on 
the shelf.

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER
Jars shower over him; one crowns him and breaks, shedding guck, which he 
wipes from his eyes.

TWO SHOT -- THE CHILDREN
They start up the stairs.

FULL SHOT -- PREACHER
He makes one step forward, steps on a rolling jar and falls.

TWO SHOT -- THE CHILDREN
They are near the top of the stairs.  We hear PREACHER below them.  JOHN 
slips and they nearly fall backward.  As JOHN recovers, PREACHER enters the 
shot, his back to us.  The children get through the open door as PREACHER
reaches the top.  JOHN slams the door, catching PREACHER's hand.  PREACHER 
screams. JOHN's astonished eyes peer through the crack in the door; the door 
loosens; PREACHER yanks his hand loose and sucks it, groaning;  the door 
slams to; the bolt is shot home.

HEAD CLOSE-UP -- PREACHER
... over sound of slamming bolt.  He snarls like the Big Bad Wolf.

All the above happens at once.

INT. KITCHEN -- CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- JOHN AND PEARL, BY DOOR
PEARL, dangling her doll, cries.  JOHN, panting, leans against wall by door.
JOHN is wondering what to do now.  Pause.

				PREACHER'S VOICE
			(o.s., sweetly)
		Chill-dren?  The only reason I wanted that 
		money is so's you could have it.

				JOHN
			(to himself, panting)
		The river.  That's the only where!  Uncle Birdie 
		Steptoe!

				PREACHER'S VOICE
			(cooing)
		Puhr-urrl?  Want your Mommy back?

Pearl hugs her doll.

				PREACHER'S VOICE
		Want me to get her right now?

				PEARL
			(sharply)
		John?

				JOHN
		Hush, Pearl.  Come on.

They fly out of the house.

				PREACHER'S VOICE
			(bellowing, as they go)
		OPEN THAT DOOR, YOU SPAWN OF THE DEVIL'S OWN 
		STRUMPET!

FRAMING SHOT -- EXT. HARPER HOUSE
A pretty, pastoral shot of the house in light mist, as they run across and 
leave the shot.  Before they disappear, we hear PREACHER's fists hammering 
against the door.  We stay on the house at leisure; we hear him lunging, 
shoulder to door; we begin to hear squeaking of hinges and splintering of 
wood.

FULL CIRCLE SHOT -- FRAMING BIRDIE'S WHARF-BOAT
An ultra-romantic image of shelter and peace.  Frogs or river noises o.s., 
then the rattle of running footsteps.  The CHILDREN enter, their backs to us, 
sprinting towards the boat.  Light mist as in previous shot.

				JOHN
			(calling)
		Uncle Birdie!  Uncle Birdie!

INT. BIRDIE'S BOAT -- GROUP SHOT -- BIRDIE AND CHILDREN
We shoot over BESS's turned photograph and over BIRDIE close, passed out in 
his rocker.The CHILDREN run through open door in BACKGROUND and JOHN runs up 
to BIRDIE.

				JOHN
		Uncle Birdie!

CLOSE SHOT -- BIRDIE

				BIRDIE
			(gesturing feebly)
		Don't!

CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- NEW ANGLE -- BIRDIE, OVER JOHN

				JOHN
		Hide us, Uncle Birdie!  He's a-comin' with his 
		knife!

He grabs BIRDIE's shoulder; BIRDIE half-rises, and falls face down on floor.

CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- BIRDIE ON FLOOR, OVER JOHN

				JOHN
		It's me!  John Harper and Pearl!  You said to 
		come a-runnin' if we needed you!

BIRDIE rears on one elbow and looks up at him.

				BIRDIE
			(in friendly recognition)
		Johnny!

He falls face down again.

CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- NEW ANGLE -- FAVORING JOHN
JOHN grabs BIRDIE by one ear, turning his face up.

				JOHN
		Uncle -- Birdie!  Oh -- please!  Please, wake 
		up!
		
CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- FAVORING BIRDIE
He looks up earnestly at JOHN.

				BIRDIE
		I never done it, boy.  Sweet Heaven, I never 
		done such a terrible thing!  I'll swear on the 
		Book to it, boy!  I never done it!  I never!

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN
He is lost; and he becomes a man.

				BIRDIE'S VOICE (o.s.)
		Lord save poor old Uncle Birdie Steptoe that 
		never hurt a fly!

He snores softly.

				JOHN
			(quiet)
		There's still the river.  The skiff is down by 
		the willows.

He masterfully takes PEARL by the hand and leads her into the night.

LONG SHOT -- THE CHILDREN
We shoot from the river.  They struggle through the sumac and pokeberry weeds 
at edge of river, towards skiff, whose prow, tethered to willow, we see 
throughout this unmoving shot, at our extreme right.  When they come opposite 
skiff -- which is a few yards out from shore --

					WE CUT TO

TWO-SHOT -- THE CHILDREN
PEARL, frankly bored, dangling her doll, is yawning.  JOHN, as he finishes 
undoing the rope from a willow root, looks up and around, checking on 
pursuit.  His eyes fix.

FULL SHOT -- PREACHER'S SHADOW
On the bank above, it is huge in the mist.  Same camera position as foregoing; new angle.

TWO-SHOT -- THE CHILDREN
BACK view: skiff in BACKGROUND.  Same camera position; new angle.

				JOHN
			(whispering)
		Please be quiet-- Oh, please, Pearl!

				PEARL
			(natural voice)
		John, where are we g--

				JOHN
		Hush.

FULL SHOT -- SHADOW, THEN PREACHER
Same position and angle as before.  PREACHER's own figure advances to 
supplant his shadow.  He peers downward, his open knife catching the light.

				PREACHER
			(businesslike)
		Children?

He starts slashing his way through the brush-filth.

FULL SHOT -- THE CHILDREN
Same camera position as before.  They are floundering through mud, half-way 
to the skiff.

FULL SHOT -- PREACHER
Same position and angle as in previous shot of him.  He is half-way down the 
bank.  With his knife, he hacks at an entangling vine. 

FULL SHOT -- THE CHILDREN
Position and angle as before.  They reach the skiff.  Hacking sounds, o.s.

				JOHN
		Get in the skiff, Pearl, goodness, goodness, 
		hurry!

				PEARL
			(hesitant)
		That's Daddy!

He picks her up and throws her into the skiff.

CLOSE SHOT -- PEARL AND DOLL
... as they land, sprawling, in bottom of skiff among fish-heads and bait 
cans.  JOHN gets in after them.

FULL SHOT -- PREACHER -- CHILDREN'S VIEWPOINT
He tears free of brush to edge of river, knife glittering.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN
With his oar, he tries to push the boat free of mud.

FULL SHOT -- PREACHER -- CHILDREN'S VIEWPOINT
He wades toward them, knee-deep in mud.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN
He is shoving at the oar even more desperately.

INSERT -- JOHN'S HANDS
Straining.

FULL SHOT -- PREACHER -- CHILDREN'S VIEWPOINT
He flounders deeper and more heavily through the mud; much closer.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN
He pushes the boat free of mud.

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER -- CHILDREN'S VIEWPOINT
He hurries much closer through shallow water.  Prow of boat in FOREGROUND.

				PREACHER
		Wait, you little whelps!  Wait!

Another step forward and he does a pratt-fall and makes a splash.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN -- PEARL IN BACKGROUND
He is trying to feather the boat out to where the current will catch it.  In
panic and haste he is clumsy.

				JOHN
		Why can't I do it when I know how to do it!

FULL SHOT -- PREACHER
... as he gets up at edge of mud.

				PREACHER
		Wait!  Wait!  I'll slit your guts!

FULL DOWN SHOT -- THE SKIFF, THEN PREACHER
The current catches it and spins it round like a leaf.  JOHN's efforts with 
the oars are useless.  PREACHER enters, wading fast.  His hands are within an 
inch of reaching the helpless skiff; capriciously the current takes it 
downstream.

TWO-SHOT -- JOHN AND PEARL
The skiff is taken steadily by the current.  PEARL sits up, doll in arms.
JOHN is almost asleep with exhaustion.

FULL SHOT -- THE SKIFF, OVER PREACHER
It is well away from him and getting smaller.  Waist-deep, he wades a couple 
of steps after it, then just looks.

HEAD CLOSE-UP -- PREACHER
He begins a steady, rhythmical, animal scream of outrage and loss.

LONG SHOT -- THE RIVER AND LANDSCAPE
Featuring starlight; and the drifting boat -- PEARL in stern.

TWO-SHOT -- THE CHILDREN -- FRONT ON
JOHN is asleep.  PEARL sits sleepily whispering to her doll.

				PEARL
		Once upon a time there was a pretty fly, and he 
		had a wife, this pretty fly...

MEDIUM LONG SHOT -- THE DRIFTING BOAT, THROUGH FIREFLIES

				PEARL'S VOICE (o.s.)
		...and one day she flew away, and then one 
		night his two pretty fly children...

SPECIAL SHOT -- THE MOVING SKIFF, THROUGH DEW-JEWELED SPIDER-WEB

				PEARL'S VOICE (o.s.)
		...flew away too, into the sky, into the 
		moon...

SPECIAL SHOT -- A FROG, AND SKIFF
A big frog is profiled; the skiff drifts by in distance; the frog twangs out 
a bass note.

					DISSOLVE TO

INSERT -- A PICTURE POSTCARD -- A COUNTY COURTHOUSE
As the card is turned to the handwritten side we

					CUT TO

CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- WALT AND ICEY

				WALT
			(reading aloud)
		Dear Walt and Icey: I bet you been worried and 
		gave us up for lost.  Took the kids down here 
		with me for a visit to my sister Elsie's farm.  
		Thot a little change of scenery would do us all 
		a world of good after so much trubble and 
		heartache.  At least the kids will git plenty 
		of good home cooking.  Your devoted Harry Powell

				ICEY
		Now ain't you relieved, Walt?

				WALT
		Sure, but you was worried too, Mother; takin' 
		off with never a word of goodbye.  I even got to 
		figurin' those gypsies busted in and done off 
		with all three of 'em.

				ICEY
		You and your gypsies!  They been gone a week!

				WALT
		Not before one of 'em knifed a farmer and stole 
		his horse.  Never caught the gypsies nor the 
		horse.

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

DESCENDING HELICOPTER SHOT -- THE RIVER -- DAY
A man is going along a river lane on horseback.  It is PREACHER; he walks the
horse away from us.

					DISSOLVE TO

DESCENDING HELICOPTER SHOT -- ANOTHER BEND OF THE RIVER
We descend to a poor riverside farmhouse; JOHN and PEARL tether a boat in 
front of it.

GROUP SHOT (FROM GROUND) -- THREE HOMELESS CHILDREN, OVER JOHN AND PEARL
They are eating hot boiled potatoes.  A glance at JOHN and PEARL, and they 
turn away towards lane in BACKGROUND.  JOHN and PEARL proceed towards the 
house.

MEDIUM SHOT -- JOHN, PEARL, WOMAN, THROUGH DOOR
We shoot from within open door of kitchen.  JOHN and PEARL advance to edge of 
porch.  A TIRED FARM WOMAN stands by the door within.  We shoot OVER her.

				TIRED FARM WOMAN
		Hungry, I s'pose.  Well, I'll see if there's 
		any more potatoes to spare.  Where's your 
		folks?

				JOHN
		Ain't got none.

Woman leaves shot briefly (we HOLD on CHILDREN).  She re-enters and goes to 
them with a bowl of steaming potatoes.  They take hands-ful and make to eat.

				TIRED FARM WOMAN
		Go 'way; go 'way.

They turn and walk towards boat.  She looks after them.

				TIRED FARM WOMAN
		Such times, when youngins run the roads!

She leaves the SHOT.  We frame them briefly, walking away, then:

					DISSOLVE TO

CLOSE SHOT -- A PLACARD -- NIGHT
It is lit by firelight.  It reads:

			PEACH-PICKERS WANTED
				WEEKLY HIRE

				PREACHER'S VOICE (o.s.)
		An ungrateful child is an abomination...

						LAP DISSOLVE TO

GROUP SHOT -- PREACHER AND MEN
PREACHER stands behind the flames; in FOREGROUND an OLD MAN sits profiled on 
a box.  Other workers, all men, sit around fire.

				PREACHER
			(continuing)
		...before the eyes of God.  The world is fast 
		going to damnation because of impudent youngins 
		a-flyin' in the face of Age.

Short silence as the other men look at PREACHER without liking.  Then the old 
man spits into the fire.

CLOSE SHOT -- THE FLAMES
A spurt of steam as spit strikes.

CLOSE SHOT -- A HOOT OWL
... hooting.

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

CLOSE SHOT -- A TURTLE -- NOONDAY
He comes down to water.

				JOHN'S VOICE (o.s.)
		They make soup out of them...

LONG SHOT -- THE CHILDREN IN PASSING SKIFF
Full landscape in BACKGROUND.

				JOHN
			(continuing)
		... but I wouldn't know how to go about gettin' 
		him open.

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

LONG SHOT -- CHILDREN AND SKIFF, OVER RABBITS IN GRASS
We shoot over two sitting rabbits as they watch, their ears up.  The skiff 
passes.  PEARL plays with doll; JOHN unsnarls line.

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

FULL SHOT -- THE CHILDREN AND SKIFF, FRAMED BY WILLOWS -- TWILIGHT
The skiff passes.  Baa-ing of sheep o.s.

MOVING SHOT -- FROM RIVER -- A SHEEP
The sheep bleats.  We PAN in a big barn near the river, then a lighted house; 
willows along shore.

FULL SHOT -- THE SKIFF -- FROM THE BANK
JOHN re-sets his oar.  They angle towards us for the shore.

				JOHN
		We're gonna spend a night on land.

UP-SHOT -- THE CHILDREN, OVER THE MOORED SKIFF
... they reach top of the bank.  Corner of barn and lighted window in 
BACKGROUND.  Sounds of mouth-organ and girl singing o.s.

FULL SHOT -- A LIGHTED WINDOW, THE SHADE DRAWN
A wire bird-cage hangs close to the shade, silhouetted.  On the perch, a 
canary.  Lullaby and mouth-organ continue o.s.  After a moment, the CHILDREN 
enter, backs to us, and stop, looking.

CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- THE CHILDREN
Window-light on faces, song over.  A moment.

				PEARL
		Are we goin' home, John?

				JOHN
		Ssh...

He turns, her hand in his.  We PAN as they tiptoe towards the big, open door 
of barn; big open hayloft window above.

INT. ROOM -- LOW TRACKING SHOT -- THE CHILDREN
As they walk down aisle of barn, we shoot them past bellies and legs of row 
of cows.  Sounds of munching and soft lowing o.s.  JOHN helps PEARL up a 
little ladder to the hayloft.

MEDIUM SHOT -- THE CHILDREN, WINDOW -- TWILIGHT
... as the CHILDREN bed down in hay, only legs visible, protruding into frame 
of window, which frames a middle-distant white lane beyond house, and a 
landscape.  Whippoorwill o.s.  A darkening of light.

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

SAME SET-UP
A full moon is half-risen.  Whippoorwill o.s.

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

SAME SET-UP
The moon is well above the horizon.  Whippoorwill o.s.

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

SAME SET-UP
The moon is still higher.  A pause; the whippoorwill stops in mid-phrase.  
Brief pause; then JOHN sits up into silhouette.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN
He listens intently.  We hear nothing.  His eyes alter.  We hear, distantly

				PREACHER'S VOICE 
			(o.s., singing)
		Leaning, Leaning ...
            
At various distances o.s., we hear dogs barking at the sound of the singing.

				PREACHER'S VOICE 
			(continuing; louder)
		... safe and secure from all alarms;

[LANE]

The dog from the farm rushes braying to his gate.  Other dogs continue o.s.  
PREACHER appears astride his walking horse, singing.

				PREACHER
		Leaning...

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN
Watching dread and despair.  Sounds go.

				PREACHER (o.s.)
		Leaning;  Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.

FULL SHOT -- PREACHER
He approaches and crosses center screen, continuing the hymn. (We do not PAN 
with him; he crosses the frame of the great window.)

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN
Eyes following PREACHER.  PREACHER and dogs continue o.s.

				JOHN
			(to himself)
		Don't you never sleep?

FULL SHOT -- PREACHER
He vanishes beyond trees, his singing more distant.  Dogs continue.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN AND PEARL -- NEW ANGLE
He wakes her.  PREACHER's singing o.s.

FULL SHOT -- PREACHER
He vanishes; scuttling of CHILDREN in hay, o.s.; dogs quiet; his song dies.  
Brief silence.  The whippoorwill resumes.

MEDIUM LONG SHOT -- THE CHILDREN, NEAR BARN
Hand in hand, they hurry out of barn and, as we PAN, along its side, towards 
River, o.s.  Whippoorwill o.s.

FULL SHOT -- A BRIGHT FULL MOON
The whippoorwill's singing continues o.s.

FULL SHOT -- CHILDREN AND SKIFF
JOHN steers through turbulent moonlit water.  Whippoorwill continues.  Low 
moon.

CLOSE SHOT -- A FOX, BARKING

CLOSE DOWN-SHOT -- CHILDREN ASLEEP IN SKIFF (TANK)
Blank, calm water; the skiff enters and passes full length below us, the 
CHILDREN asleep in it; blank water again; again the fox barks.

MEDIUM SHOT -- THE SKIFF, DRIFTING SHOT, THROUGH RIVERSIDE GRASS
Crickets o.s.  The skiff nears a sand-bar.

INSERT -- THE PROW, GROUNDING
The prow softly grates against sand.

MEDIUM SHOT -- THE GROUNDED SKIFF, AGAIN THROUGH GRASS
Crickets fainter.  TILTING UPWARD.

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

FULL SHOT -- THE STARLIT SKY

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

FULL SHOT -- RIVER LANDSCAPE -- SUNRISE
Distant; medium; the near; roosters crow o.s.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN WAKING
He looks to PEARL o.s.

FULL SHOT -- PEARL, THEN RACHEL, OVER JOHN
PEARL is picking daisies.  A fence up beyond her.  Beyond the fence, a woman, 
RACHEL COOPER, appears.  She carries a berry-basket on her arm.  JOHN 
scrambles up, grabs an oar, and holds it defensively.  PEARL freezes.

				RACHEL
			(loud)
		You two youngsters get up here to me this 
		instant! 

TWO-SHOT -- JOHN AND PEARL -- RACHEL'S ANGLE

				RACHEL (o.s.)
		Mind me now!

JOHN lowers the oar at the female authority in her voice.

				RACHEL (o.s.)
		Now git on up to my house.  

They hesitate.

THREE-SHOT -- OVER JOHN

				RACHEL
		I'll get me a willow switch!

They still hesitate.  She breaks off a switch and comes for them, squishing 
through the mud.  She surrounds them and drives them like geese up the bank.

LOW FULL SHOT -- THE THREE, FROM SIDE
They move across the meadow like a nursery frieze.  She tweaks with her 
switch.  As she goes near PEARL's calves,  JOHN turns.

				JOHN
		Don't you hurt her!

				RACHEL
		Hurt her nothin'!  Wash her's more like it!
			(hand to mouth, yelling)
		Ruby!

FULL SHOT -- A TOMATO PATCH
Three crouching figures pick tomatoes beyond a low white fence; Rachel's 
house in BACKGROUND.  RUBY, thirteen, pops her head up like a rifle-target.

				RACHEL (o.s.)
		Clary!

CLARY, eleven, pops up.

				RACHEL (o.s.)
		Mary!

MARY, four, pops up.

				THE GIRLS
			(in chorus)
		Yes, Miz Cooper!

GROUP SHOT -- RACHEL AND HARPERS, MOVING TOWARDS FENCE
She has JOHN and PEARL by their napes.

				RACHEL
		Bring yer baskets.

The three girls enter, their backs to us, carrying baskets of tomatoes.

GROUP SHOT -- THE GIRLS, OVER RACHEL AND HARPER CHILDREN
She holds JOHN and PEARL very firmly, inspecting baskets across gate of 
fence.

				RACHEL
		Nicely picked, Clary.  Mary; put the big ones 
		on top.  Ruby, most o' them ain't fit to go to 
		market.  Put them baskets down.  Ruby, fetch 
		the washtub and put it by the pump.  Mary, 
		Clary, fetch me a bar o' laundry soap and the 
		scrub brush.

				GIRLS
			(in chorus)
		Yes, Miz Cooper!

They hurry off.

				RACHEL
		Come on, now; up to the house.

She opens the gate, pushes the Harper children through, shuts the gate, and 
walks between them, her back to us.  The CHILDREN hesitate.  She turns to 
them and stops.

THREE -SHOT -- THE CHILDREN, OVER RACHEL
She looks them up and down.  If we saw her face, her lips would be pursed and 
working with anger.

				RACHEL
		Gracious!  If you hain't a sight to beat all!  
		Where you from?

No answer; their eyes are wide with curiosity.

				RACHEL
		Where's your folks?

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN

				RACHEL (o.s.)
		Speak up now!

His eyes go down to her feet.  He, and we, start to examine her from foot to 
head; for this is our heroine at last.

CLOSE TILTING SHOT -- RACHEL
... from JOHN's eye-level.  We TILT SLOWLY UP her height.  She wears man's 
shoes, heavy with mud; a rough skirt; a shapeless sweater hangs over her 
shoulders; she is in her middle sixties and wears a man's old hat.  Her face 
says:

				RACHEL
			(sort of roughly)
		Gracious!  So I've got two more mouths to 
		feed!

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN
For no reason at all he feels he has come home.

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

GROUP SHOT -- JOHN, PEARL, RACHEL, RUBY, DURING WASHING
RACHEL mercilessly scrubs JOHN; JOHN doesn't like it; RUBY washes PEARL with 
a cloth.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN
Hating the scrubbing.  He breaks away.

FULL SHOT -- JOHN AND RACHEL
JOHN dodges behind a bush, RACHEL in hot pursuit.

CLOSE SHOT -- THE BUSH; RACHEL
RACHEL's head bobs up and down above the bush; we hear the unmistakable hand 
of a female hand on the child's bottom.

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

FULL SHOT -- A SHELF
Full of market baskets, neatly covered with damp muslin.

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

FULL SHOT -- THE CARRIED BASKETS, IN MOTION

EXT. MOUNDSVILLE STREET -- TRACKING SHOT -- RACHEL AND HER BROOD
All carry baskets.  RACHEL charges along at the head of the procession.  A 
CATTLE DEALER strolls the other way.

				CATTLE DEALER
		Howdy, Miz Cooper -- you goin' to sell me yer 
		hog this year?

RACHEL doesn't stop walking.

				RACHEL
		With the price o' pork what it is?

CLOSE TRACKING SHOT -- RACHEL
She keeps walking.

				RACHEL
			(talking to herself)
		I'm butcherin' my hog myself, smokin' the hams, 
		and cannin' the sausage.
			(she calls to the children 
			 over her shoulder)
		You-all have your work cut out!

CLOSE TRACKING TWO-SHOT -- JOHN AND CLARY IN MID-PROCESSION

				JOHN
		She talks to herself.

				CLARY
		All the time.

				JOHN
		Your Maw's funny.

				CLARY
		She ain't our Maw.  We just live at her house.

They walk in silence.

				JOHN
		Where's your folks?

				CLARY
		Some place.

				MARY
		My Daddy's in Dee-troit.

				JOHN
			(to Ruby)
		Who's your folks?

				RUBY
		I dunno.

FULL SHOT -- THE STREET
A WAITRESS, wearing an apron labeled EMPIRE EATS, hurries across the street 
towards the GROUP.  We PAN her into MARY.  The procession halts briefly.  She 
embraces MARY.

				WAITRESS
		Mary!  Honey!  
			(to Rachel)
		Mornin', Miz Cooper.
			(to Mary)
		Guess what!  I'm savin' up to buy ye a charm 
		bracelet!

CLOSE SHOT -- RACHEL

				RACHEL
		Never mind the geegaws; don't you miss your 
		visit this Sunday; and come to Church with us.

FULL STREET SHOT
The WAITRESS hurries away.  She dodges past a car.

				WAITRESS
		See ye Sunday, love!

CLOSE SHOT -- RACHEL
She follows WAITRESS, then LOVERS in car, with her eyes.

FULL STREET SHOT
The car CENTERS, held up in traffic; two lovers in it, sitting close.

CLOSE SHOT -- RACHEL
She takes in the LOVERS.

				RACHEL
		Women is durn fools!  All of 'em!

She sighs, angry at all women, herself included, and turns away.  We are at 
the door of a GROCERY STORE.  The GROCER is on his doorstep.

FULL SHOT -- GROUP AND GROCERY

				RACHEL
			(to children)
		Take yer baskets in.

The CHILDREN file in past her and GROCER.

				RACHEL
			(to Grocer)
		Looky there.
			(she indicates the lovers)
		She'll be losin' her mind to a tricky mouth and 
		a full moon, and like as not I'll be saddled 
		with the consequences.

She starts into store with the GROCER.

INT. STORE -- GROUP SHOT -- RACHEL, GROCER, CHILDREN
RACHEL and GROCER come up to counter.  She takes a list from her bosom and 
gives it to the GROCER.

				RACHEL
		Here's what you owe me.
			(she counts baskets)
		One, two, three, four, five... where's the 
		other basket?  Where's Ruby?

				CLARY
		She went.

				RACHEL
		John, you go fetch Ruby.

JOHN goes.  As GROCER empties baskets and tots up, RACHEL continues:

				RACHEL
		Big Ruby's my problem girl.  She can't gather 
		eggs without bustin' 'em; but Ruby's got mother 
		hands with a youngin, so what're you to say?

EXT. DRUG STORE -- FULL SHOT -- RUBY
She stands with her market-basket, reacting to wolf whistles o.s.; she is 
seeking the world.

THREE-SHOT -- RUBY, OVER TWO YOUNG LOAFERS

				1ST LOAFER
		How 'bout tonight, Ruby?

RUBY gestures RACHEL's nearness.

				2ND LOAFER
			(to 1st)
		What gives?

				1ST LOAFER
		The Old Lady's around.
			(to Ruby)
		How 'bout Thursday?

RUBY nods.

				1ST LOAFER
			(to 2nd)
		The old gal thinks she comes in fer sewin' 
		lessons o' Thursday.

FULL SHOT -- RUBY; JOHN IN BACKGROUND

				JOHN
			(calling)
		Miz Cooper wants you.

He turns and goes; RUBY, with an eye to 1ST LOAFER, turns and follows.

INT. GROCERY STORE -- GROUP SHOT -- CENTERING RACHEL

				GROCER
			(to Pearl)
		And will you show me your dolly, little lady?

JOHN has entered in BACKGROUND.  PEARL holds the doll to her, and JOHN moves 
in quietly by her side.  They stand together, as so often before.

				GROCER
		See ye got two more peeps to your brood.

				RACHEL
		Yeah, and ornerier than the rest.

				GROCER
		How's your own boy, Miz Cooper?

				RACHEL
		Ain't heard from Ralph since last Christmas.  
		Don't matter -- I've got a new crop.
			(she laughs, loudly)
		I'm a strong tree with branches for many birds. 
		I'm good for something in this old world and I 
		know it, too!

We know that she will rout the Devil.

				GROCER
			(a good tradesman)
		Got a good buy in soap, Miz Cooper.

				RACHEL
			(triumphant)
		Don't need no soap.  I'm boilin' down the fat 
		from my hog.

					DISSOLVE TO

INT. RACHEL'S SCREENED PORCH - EVENING - GROUP SHOT-RACHEL, GIRLS, JOHN ASIDE
CENTERING RACHEL as she takes a book from table, and the GIRLS move to set at 
her seat, and JOHN stands to one side. RACHEL glances at him.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN
He looks suspiciously to the Book in her hands, for to him it has come to 
mean only Preacher.

INSERT -- THE BIBLE
... as she opens it on her lap o.s. we hear a screen door open.

GROUP SHOT -- RACHEL, CHILDREN, JOHN IN BACKGROUND
We see the door closing as JOHN goes out.  The GIRLS sit on low stools in 
semi-circle at RACHEL's feet.  We CENTER RACHEL.  RACHEL, keenly aware of  
JOHN, pretends to ignore him.   JOHN crosses behind her and stands with his 
back to us.  RACHEL, changing her mind about what story to tell, finds the 
new page she's after, and spreads her hands flat on the pages.  She never 
glances at the text.  She is fishing for JOHN.

				RACHEL
		Now old Pharaoh, he was the King of Egyptland!  
		And he had a daughter, and once upon a time...
			(louder)
		... she was walkin' along the river bank and 
		she seen somethin' bumpin' and scrapin' along 
		down on a sandbar under the willows.

CLOSE SHOT -- THE BACK OF JOHN'S HEAD -- IMMOBILE

				RACHEL (o.s.)
		And do you know what it was, children?

RESUME GROUP SHOT

				RUBY, CLARY, MARY
			(excited)
		No!

				PEARL
		No!

				RACHEL 
			(still loud)
		Well, it was a skiff, washed up on the bar.  
		And who do you reckon was in it?

				RUBY
			(confidently)
		Pearl and John!

				RACHEL 
			(still loud)
		Not this time!  It was just one youngin -- a 
		little boy babe.  And do you know who he was 
		children?

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN'S HEAD
... as he turns around.

				RUBY, MARY, CLARY, PEARL
			(o.s., in unison)
		No!

RESUME GROUP SHOT
RACHEL closes the Bible; she knows the Lord's battle is won.  As she 
continues, she puts aside the book and takes up her mending.

				RACHEL 
			(very quietly)
		It was Moses!  A King of men, Moses, children.  
		Now.  Off to bed.  Hurry.

On "off to bed," JOHN turns his back again.

CLOSE SHOT -- RACHEL; JOHN IN BACKGROUND
She mends for a few moments.

				RACHEL 
			(commandingly)
		John, git me an apple.

JOHN crosses behind her and off, towards door.  We hear it open and close.

				RACHEL 
		Git one for yourself, too.

MEDIUM SHOT -- JOHN
he approaches with two apples.  We PAN him into a:

TWO-SHOT -- JOHN AND RACHEL
He gives her an apple.  She immediately takes a bite.  He doesn't bite his.  
She looks at him from her apple.

				RACHEL 
			(suddenly)
		John, where's your folks?

				JOHN
			(plainly)
		Dead.

				RACHEL 
		Dead.

She nods with finality.  JOHN starts to eat his apple.

				RACHEL 
		Where ye from?

				JOHN
		Up river.

				RACHEL 
		I didn't figger ye rowed that skiff from 
		Parkersburg!

JOHN makes a move; he slowly and tenderly reaches out his hand and lays his 
fingers on her knuckles.

				JOHN
		Tell me that story again.

Our heroine would like to thank the Lord openly, but she knows she must not 
show her feelings; she speaks gruffly --

				RACHEL 
		Story, honey?  Why, what story?

				JOHN
		About them Kings.  That the Queen found down on 
		the sandbar in the skiff that time.

				RACHEL 
		Kings!  Why, honey, there was only one.

				JOHN
		I mind you said there was two.

				RACHEL 
		Well, shoot!  Maybe there was!

CLOSE SHOT -- RACHEL
Maybe we see -- though JOHN does not -- the thanksgiving in her eyes.

				RACHEL 
		Yes, come to think of it, there was two, John.

O.s., in distance, we hear the whistle of a river boat.

					DISSOLVE TO

EXT. MOUNDSVILLE STREET -- EVENING -- MOVING SHOT -- RUBY
Her head and shoulders from behind as she walks down the neon-lighted street; 
drugstore and loafers in b.g.; jazz music o.s.

FULL SHOT -- RUBY, OVER DRUGSTORE LOAFERS
Our two loafers lounge on bench.  RUBY approaches.

				2ND LOAFER
			(to 1st)
		Hey.  Must be Thursday.

				1ST LOAFER
		Here we go.

He gets up and starts towards RUBY, who catches his eye.

RUBY, FROM BEHIND
She turns to a magazine stand and fingers a magazine, awaiting LOAFER, who 
approaches in BACKGROUND.

INSERT -- RUBY'S HAND; MAGAZINES
They are lurid, tawdry fan and pin-up magazines.

PREACHER enters, between RUBY and LOAFER, and turns to RUBY into CLOSE TWO-
SHOT.  LOAFER pauses in BACKGROUND.

				PREACHER
		You're Ruby, ain't you, my child?

				RUBY
		Can I have this?

				PREACHER
		Surely.  I'd like to talk to you, my dear.

				RUBY
		Will you buy me a choclit sody?

				LOAFERS
		Watch out, Preacher!  Why, Preacher!

				PREACHER
			(sternly)
		Shet yer dirty mouths!

CLOSE SHOT -- RUBY
She looks up at him admiringly; then to LOAFERS; back to PREACHER.

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

INT. DRUGSTORE -- CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- PREACHER AND RUBY
RUBY is finishing her soda.

				RUBY
		Ain't I purty?

This is a familiar clue to PREACHER.

				PREACHER
		Why, you're the purtiest girl I've seen in all 
		my wandering.  Didn't nobody never tell you 
		that, Ruby?

				RUBY
			(hoarsely)
		No.  No one ever did.

				PREACHER
			(moving in)
		There's two new ones over at your place, ain't 
		there, Ruby?

She nods.

				PREACHER
		What's their names?

				RUBY
		Pearl and John.

				PREACHER
		Ahhh.
			(whispering)
		And is there -- a doll?

				RUBY
			(nods)
		Only she won't never let me play with it.

				PREACHER
		Ahh!

He gets up and heads for door.  RUBY, dismayed, hurries after him.

				PREACHER
			(firmly)
		Yes!

He strides through door, RUBY following.

THREE-SHOT -- PREACHER AND RUBY ON SIDEWALK, 2ND LOAFER IN B.G.
1ST LOAFER has gone.  PREACHER comes out fast, RUBY touches his arm, he turns 
on her.  They are in CLOSE TWO-SHOT.  RUBY goes on tiptoe.  PREACHER inclines 
his ear.

CLOSE SHOT -- RUBY

				RUBY
		Did you ever see such purty eyes in all your 
		born days?

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER

INSERT -- PREACHER'S HAND
It slides into his knife pocket.  We hear a click.

				2ND LOAFER (o.s.)
		Don't let him git away, Sugar!

THREE-SHOT -- PREACHER AND RUBY, LOAFER IN B.G.

				RUBY
		He ain't like you-all!  Next time I won't even 
		ask him to buy me a sody!

She turns to PREACHER, but PREACHER, on "next time," has left the SHOT.

CLOSE SHOT -- RUBY
She looks after him, clasping the magazine under her chin.

FULL SHOT -- PREACHER
Her hero strides away into darkness.

CLOSE SHOT -- RUBY
Gazing after him.

				RUBY
		I been bad!

					DISSOLVE TO

CLOSE DOWN-SHOT -- THE MAGAZINE, OPEN, IN RACHEL'S LAP
We PULL UP and AWAY into:

TWO-SHOT -- RACHEL, SEATED; RUBY STANDING BESIDE HER

				RACHEL
		Ruby, you didn't have no money to buy this.

				RUBY
		You'll whip me!

				RACHEL
		When did I ever?

				RUBY
		This man down at the Drugstore...

				RACHEL
		The Drugstore?

				RUBY
		Miz Cooper.  I never went to sewin' lessons all 
		them times.

				RACHEL
		What you been up to?

				RUBY
		I been out with men.

RUBY collapses face down over RACHEL's lap and sobs, as we TRACK IN CLOSE.

				RACHEL
		Dear God, child!

Now RACHEL also weeps.  She bends low over RUBY, stroking her hair.

				RACHEL
		You was lookin' for love, Ruby, the only 
		foolish way you knowed how. 

She lifts RUBY's face cheek to cheek beside her own.

				RACHEL
		We all need love.  Ruby, I lost the love of my 
		son -- I've found it with you all. 

They weep together.

				RACHEL
		You must grow up to be a fine, full woman; and 
		I'm goin' to see to it you do.

She starts making up RUBY's hair like that of a young woman.

				RUBY
		This gentleman wasn't like them!  He just give 
		me a sody and the book.

				RACHEL
		Now who was this?

				RUBY
		He never asked me for nothin'.

				RACHEL
		He must have wanted somethin', Ruby.  A man 
		don't waste time on a girl unless he gets 
		something.

RUBY shakes her head.

				RACHEL
		What'd you all talk about?

				RUBY
		Pearl and John.

				RACHEL
		John and Pearl!

RUBY nods.

				RACHEL
		Is he their Pap?

RUBY shrugs.

				RACHEL
		Why hasn't he been to the house?

					DISSOLVE TO

FULL SHOT -- PREACHER ON HORSE ON ROAD

FULL FIGURE SHOT -- RUBY
Seeing PREACHER, she drops two eggs.

				RUBY
			(shouting)
		Miz Cooper!

				RACHEL
			(o.s., from within house)
		What?

				RUBY
		The man!  The man!

TRACKING SHOT -- PREACHER
He tethers his horse and, as we PAN and TRACK on behind him, walks to the 
bottom of the steps; RUBY moves into side of SHOT: beyond PREACHER, RACHEL 
stands behind her screen door, hands folded under apron.

				PREACHER
		Mornin', ladies.

FULL FIGURE SHOT -- RACHEL, BEHIND SCREEN

				RACHEL
		How'do.

FULL FIGURE SHOT -- PREACHER
RACHEL'S VIEWPOINT, through screen.

FULL FIGURE SHOT -- RACHEL, BEHIND SCREEN

				PREACHER
		You're Miz Cooper, I take it.

				RACHEL
			(coming through door)
		It's about that John and that Pearl?

THREE SHOT -- PREACHER, RACHEL, RUBY IN BACKGROUND
PREACHER's face twitches with emotion.  He breaks out into great thankful 
sobs.  He falls to his knees.

				PREACHER
		My little lambs!  To think I never hoped to see 
		them again in this world!  Oh, dear Madam, if 
		you was to know what a thorny crown I have 
		borne in my search for these strayed chicks.

CLOSE SHOT -- RACHEL
She takes him in.  He doesn't take her in.

THREE-SHOT -- AS BEFORE

				RACHEL
		Ruby, go fetch them kids.

RUBY minces off around the side of the house.

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER -- RACHEL'S ANGLE
He wipes off tears with the heel of his left hand, watching her.

				PREACHER
		Ah, dear Madam, I see you're looking at my 
		hands!

CLOSE SHOT -- RACHEL
She is.

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER -- AS BEFORE
He holds up the right hand.

				PREACHER
		Shall I tell ye the little story of Right-Hand-
		Left-Hand -- the tale of Good and Evil? 

CLOSE SHOT -- RACHEL

				PREACHER (o.s.)
		It was with this left hand that old Brother 
		Cain struck the blow that laid his brother 
		low--

				RACHEL
			(wanting to know)
		Them kids is yours?

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER

				PREACHER
			(recovering from the interruption)
		My flesh and blood!

CLOSE SHOT -- RACHEL

				RACHEL
		Where's your Missus?

TWO-SHOT -- PROFILING RACHEL AND PREACHER
PREACHER gets to his feet.

				PREACHER
		She run off with a drummer one night.  Durin' 
		prayer-meetin'.

				RACHEL
		Where's she at?

				PREACHER
		Somewheres down river!  Parkersburg, mebbe!  
		Cincinnati!  One of them Sodoms on the Ohio 
		River.

				RACHEL
		She took them kids with her?

				PREACHER
		Heaven only knows what unholy sights and sounds 
		those innocent little babes has heard in the 
		dens of perdition where she dragged them!

CLOSE SHOT -- RACHEL

				RACHEL
		Right funny, hain't it, how they rowed all the 
		way up river in a ten-foot john-boat!

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER
... recovering, and by-passing it.

				PREACHER
		Are they well?

He turns his head.

FULL SHOT -- RACHEL AND PREACHER, FROM SIDE
All the CHILDREN enter, around corner of house.  As they move in, RACHEL 
replies:

				RACHEL
		A sight better than they was.

By now, JOHN is on the top step beside RACHEL.  One of his hands holds on to 
her skirt, as if he were pulling her towards him.  His eyes never leave hers.
All the CHILDREN freeze, PEARL is on ground, just beyond JOHN.  Others in 
BACKGROUND; RUBY as near PREACHER as she can get.

				PREACHER
		Gracious, gracious!  You are a good woman, Miz 
		Cooper!

				RACHEL
		How you figgerin' to raise them two without a 
		woman?

				PREACHER
		The Lord will provide.

PEARL with a wail of happiness, drops the DOLL on the step and runs to 
PREACHER, who picks her up.  JOHN instantly picks up the DOLL and holds it to 
him.  He looks up at RACHEL.

CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- JOHN AND RACHEL
JOHN looks deep into RACHEL's eyes.

				PREACHER (o.s.)
		The Lord is merciful!  What a day is this!  And 
		there's little John!

				RACHEL
		What's wrong, John?

				JOHN
		Nothin'.

He smiles.

				PREACHER (o.s.)
		Come to me, boy!

				RACHEL
		What's wrong, John?

TWO-SHOT -- PREACHER AND PEARL

				PREACHER
		Didn't you hear me, boy?

TWO-SHOT -- JOHN AND RACHEL
RACHEL bends a little over him.  She wants the situation clarified.

				RACHEL
		John, when your Dad says 'come', you should 
		mind him.

				JOHN
		He ain't my Dad.
            
HEAD CLOSE-UP -- RACHEL
She takes this in; JOHN has sold her.  She looks to PREACHER o.s.

				RACHEL
		He ain't no Preacher, neither.  I've seen 
		Preachers in my time, an' some of 'em was 
		saints on earth.  A few was crookeder'n a dog's 
		hind leg, but this 'un's got 'em all beat for
		badness.

She starts to turn.

GROUP SHOT
She walks purposefully into the house.  PREACHER lunges for JOHN and the 
DOLL.

CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- PREACHER AND JOHN
JOHN ducks under the porch and PREACHER tries to follow him.  He can't get 
under.  O.s., we hear the slam of the screen door.  PREACHER's head comes up 
to see and we TILT UP, shooting OVER the back of his head.  RACHEL stands 
there full figure, with a pump-gun.

				RACHEL
		Just march yourself yonder to your horse, 
		Mister.

Back of PREACHER's head is still immobile.

				RACHEL
		March, Mister!  I'm not foolin'.

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER, OVER GUN BARREL
PREACHER gets to his feet.  The open knife is in his hand.  As we see it, the 
gun barrel twitches.  PREACHER backs away towards his horse, bouncing the 
knife lightly in his hand.

				PREACHER
			(screaming)
		You ain't done with Harry Powell yet!  The Lord 
		God Jehovah will guide my hand in vengeance!  
		You devils!  You Whores of Babylon!  I'll come 
		back when it's dark.

As he mounts his horse we

					DISSOLVE TO

FULL SHOT -- RACHEL'S HOUSE -- NIGHT
It is dark.  O.s. we hear PREACHER singing "Leaning."

FULL FIGURE SHOT -- RACHEL
She sits in profile, her gun across her knees.  Song continues o.s.

FULL SHOT -- THE CHILDREN, ASLEEP
... in a big bed.  RUBY sits up, listening to song o.s.

FULL FIGURE SHOT -- RACHEL, AS BEFORE
Song continues o.s.  We PAN to PREACHER outside.  We see him through window.  
He sits hunched on a stump.

FULL SHOT -- THE HOUSE, OVER PREACHER
He continues singing.

HEAD PROFILE -- RACHEL
After a moment, we see her mouth open; and either to comfort herself or to 
drown out PREACHER's voice, she joins in the hymn.

FULL SHOT -- THE HOUSE -- AS IN OPENING SHOT
A descending candle moves past a window; RACHEL and PREACHER sing o.s.

FULL SHOT -- PREACHER ON STUMP
... over back of RACHEL's head.  The song ends. RUBY enters SHOT carrying a 
candle.  Its light blacks out the window-glass. RACHEL looks up.

				RACHEL
		Moonin' around the house over that mad dog of a 
		Preacher!  Shame, Ruby!

She blows out the candle.  We see through the window.  PREACHER has gone.

CLOSE SHOT -- RACHEL

				RACHEL
		Merciful Heaven!

She stands up.

CLOSE TWO-SHOT -- RACHEL AND RUBY

				RACHEL
		Ruby, get the children out of bed.  Bring them 
		all down here to the kitchen.

RUBY leaves the SHOT.  RACHEL moves towards window.  She puts her hand over 
her eyes.

				RACHEL
		Women is such fools!

The soft hoot of an owl o.s. RACHEL looks up.

CLOSE SHOT -- AN OWL ON A BRANCH LOOKING DOWN

CLOSE SHOT -- A BABY RABBIT

CLOSE SHOT -- THE OWL SPREADS HIS WINGS AND SWOOPS

CLOSE SHOT -- RACHEL
Still for a second; then, o.s., the scream of a rabbit.

				RACHEL
		It's a hard world for little things.

OVER this line we have heard the patter of feet down staircase.  She turns.

GROUP SHOT -- THE CHILDREN [IN KITCHEN]
They look at her with complete trust.

GROUP SHOT -- RACHEL, OVER CHILDREN

				RACHEL
			(snapping)
		Children, I got lonesome.  I figgered we might 
		play games.

PEARL and MARY jump up and down, patting their palms.  RACHEL extends her 
hands and they gather close to her.

				PEARL
		Won't you tell us a story?

CLOSE SHOT -- RACHEL

				RACHEL
		I might.
			(a swift furious glance 
			 into the moonlight)
		I might tell a story.

She sits down, the gun against her knees.

GROUP SHOT -- RACHEL AND CHILDREN
... as MARY and PEARL sit at her feet.  RUBY stands beside RACHEL.  JOHN 
stands near RACHEL.

				CLARY
		I'll light the lamp.

				RACHEL
		It's more fun hearin' stories in the dark.

CLARY sits at RACHEL's feet.

CLOSE PANNING SHOT -- JOHN
He is alert now.  He moves in close beside RACHEL, whom we PAN into

CLOSE TWO-SHOT with him, and presses the whole of his right arm against her 
arm. RACHEL registers quietly.

GROUP SHOT -- RACHEL AND CHILDREN

				RACHEL
		Well... mind what I told you about little Jesus 
		and his Ma and Pa and how there was No Room at 
		the Inn?

HEAD CLOSE-UP -- RACHEL
Her eyes, sharp and glittering, look outside.

FULL SHOT -- THE OUTSIDE
Featuring empty stump, RACHEL's viewpoint.

GROUP SHOT -- RACHEL AND CHILDREN
She gets up with gun; we PULL AWAY; in BACKGROUND, CHILDREN turn faces to 
keep watching her.  She comes close to window, gun ready, CHILDREN in 
BACKGROUND.

				RACHEL
		Well, there was this sneakin', no-'count, 
		ornery King Herod!

She turns round and walks back to her chair; CHILDREN's eyes always on her.

				RACHEL
		And he heard tell of this little King Jesus 
		growin' up and old Herod figgered: Well, shoot!  
		There sure won't be no room for the both of us!
			(she sits down)
		I'll just nip this in the bud.

GROUP SHOT -- RACHEL AND CHILDREN, FROM SIDE

				RACHEL
			(continuing)
		Well, he never knowed for sure which one of all 
		them babies in the land was King Jesus.

HEAD CLOSE-UP -- RACHEL
Her eyes glittering as she turns to look towards us.

RESUME SIDE GROUP SHOT
RACHEL gets up with gun.  Again we PULL AWAY, as faces of all CHILDREN in 
b.g. turn to watch her.

				RACHEL
		And so that cursed old King Herod figgered if 
		he was to kill all the babies in the land, he'd 
		be sure to get little Jesus.

Without speaking, she goes back to her chair.

FRONT GROUP SHOT

				RACHEL
		And when little King Jesus' Ma and Pa heard 
		about that plan, what do you reckon they went 
		and done?

				CLARY
		They hid in a broom closet!

				MARY
		They hid under the porch!

HEAD CLOSE-UP -- JOHN

				JOHN
		No; they went a-runnin'.

TWO-SHOT -- RACHEL AND JOHN

				RACHEL
		Well, now, John, that's just what they done!
		They went a-runnin!

The clock starts striking three.  RACHEL looks to sound o.s.

FULL SHOT -- CLOCK AND HALL MIRROR, BEYOND DARK KITCHEN
In the mirror, a shadow ducks.

FULL GROUP SHOT -- RACHEL AND CHILDREN
RACHEL gets up, gun at port, and faces into the darkness.

				PREACHER (o.s.)
		Figured I was gone, huh?

Eyes on the darkness, she bends low to the CHILDREN.

				RACHEL
			(whispering)
		Run, hide in the staircase!  Run quick!

They scatter out of SHOT; RUBY lingers.

				RACHEL
			(without turning to her)
		Ruby, git.

RUBY obeys in a trance.  RACHEL, gun at ready, looks into the darkness.

FULL SCREEN -- DARKNESS
Pause.

				RACHEL
			(o.s., in a high, steady voice)
		What do you want?

				PREACHER (o.s.)
		Them kids!

				RACHEL (o.s.)
		What are you after them for?

				PREACHER (o.s.)
		None of your business, Madam.

				RACHEL
		I'm givin' you to the count of three to get out 
		that screen door; then I'm a-comin' across this 
		kitchen shootin'!

A stepped-on cat screams o.s. and PREACHER's satanic face, and his hand 
lifting the open knife, rise swiftly from the floor.

FULL FIGURE SHOT -- RACHEL -- SAME SHOT AS BEFORE
She fires off her gun.

FULL SHOT -- SCREEN DOOR
PREACHER staggers out and runs yelping with pain into the barn.  O.s. we hear 
the zing-zing of a country phone being cranked.

GROUP SHOT -- RACHEL, OVER BACKS OF CHILDREN'S HEADS
They huddle on the stairs in reverent silence.  RACHEL, her gun slung 
sportily under one arm, talks into wall phone which hangs just within the box 
stairway.

				RACHEL
		Miz Booher?  Rachel Cooper.  Git them State 
		Troopers over to my place.  I done treed 
		somep'n up in my barn.

					DISSOLVE TO

FULL SHOT -- RACHEL AND JOHN
RACHEL sits on the screened porch, awake, gun on knees.  JOHN sits on floor, 
asleep, his head leaning against her.  Barn in BACKGROUND.  Sunrise.

CLOSE SHOT -- RACHEL AND JOHN
Same position.  JOHN awakes.

				JOHN
		I'll see to Pearl.

				RACHEL
		I'll make coffee.

They get up and start into kitchen.

GROUP SHOT -- THE CHILDREN, OVER RACHEL AND JOHN
They lie huddled in calm sleep.  JOHN and RACHEL watch a moment.

				JOHN
		She's all right.

They start for the stove.

TWO-SHOT -- RACHEL AND JOHN, AROUND STOVE
RACHEL puts her gun beside the stove, ready to hand, and picks up a coffee-
pot; JOHN puts kindling in stove.

				RACHEL
		John, you know?  When you're little, you have 
		more endurance than God is ever to grant you 
		again?  Children are Man at his strongest.  
		They abide.

JOHN looks at her a moment.  O.s. we hear police car sirens.  They look 
towards the sound.

FULL SHOT -- THROUGH POLICE CAR WINDSHIELD
We SHOOT OVER TWO TROOPERS.  Sirens loud, they rapidly approach RACHEL's 
house as RACHEL, without gun, holding JOHN's hand, comes down to fence.  
Presently, the other CHILDREN hurry out of house behind.  The car brakes.

FULL SHOT -- RACHEL AND CHILDREN OVER TWO POLICE CARS -- BARN IN BACKGROUND
The TROOPERS, fanning wide, advance towards the barn.  RACHEL and the 
CHILDREN are grouped a short distance behind them.  The barn door gapes 
black.  Short pause; then PREACHER appears.

				A TROOPER
			(shouting)
		Is that him, Ma'am?

				RACHEL
			(shouting)
		Yes!  Mind where you shoot, boys!  There's 
		children here!

				TROOPER
		Whyn't you call us up before?

				RACHEL
		Didn't want yer big feet trackin' up my clean 
		floors.

CLOSE SHOT -- PREACHER
He stands, swaying; his left arm is bloody and helpless.  In his right hand 
the open knife hangs apathetic.  His eyes are glazed.  He does not seem to 
care whether they come or not.

				TROOPER'S VOICE (o.s.)
		Harry Powell, you're under arrest for the 
		murder of Willa Harper!

MEDIUM SHOT -- PREACHER AND TROOPERS -- JOHN'S VIEWPOINT
TROOPERS close in on PREACHER, from before and behind, exactly as for BEN's
arrest.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN
The same sickly look, as at BEN's arrest.

MEDIUM SHOT -- PREACHER AND TROOPERS -- JOHN'S VIEWPOINT
One TROOPER smacks the back of PREACHER's head with a pistol-barrel.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN

				JOHN
			(shouting)
		Don't! 

RESUME VIEWPOINT SHOT
Another TROOPER, with pistol-barrel, knocks the knife from PREACHER's lifted 
hand.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN

				JOHN
			(shouting)
		Don't! 

RESUME VIEWPOINT SHOT
PREACHER sinks to his knees as both men, and two others from the front, close 
in on him.  The tableau is the same as in BEN's arrest.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN

				JOHN
			(shouting)
		DAD! 

FRONT GROUP SHOT -- RACHEL AND CHILDREN
JOHN grabs the DOLL from PEARL and starts to run.

				RACHEL
		John!  John!

She starts after him.

FULL SHOT -- TROOPERS, JOHN, RACHEL, OVER PREACHER
PREACHER prostrate along bottom of screen.  TROOPERS are beating him.  JOHN 
runs up from BACKGROUND followed by RACHEL.  JOHN rushes among the TROOPERS, 
flogging PREACHER over the head with the DOLL.  The TROOPERS, astounded, lay 
off.  RACHEL is stopped in her tracks.

				JOHN
		Here!  Here!  Take it back!  I can't stand it, 
		Dad!  It's too much, Dad!  I don't want it!  I 
		can't do it!  Here!  Here!

The DOLL has burst open and the money has spilled over PREACHER.  Now two 
TROOPERS gently lift JOHN away.  RACHEL lifts him in her arms; she turns 
towards house.

FULL FIGURE SHOT -- RACHEL AND JOHN -- GROUP IN BACKGROUND
She carries JOHN towards the house.  His head hangs back over her arm.  We 
hear his dry, exhausted sobs.

INT. COURTROOM -- DAY -- CLOSE SHOT -- ICEY

				ICEY
			(yelling)
		Lynch him!  Lynch him!

TWO-SHOT -- WALT AND ICEY

				ICEY
			(yelling)
		Bluebeard!

				WALT
			(yelling at all the men around him)
		Twenty-five wives! 

				ICEY
		And he killed every last one of 'em!

GROUP SHOT -- WALT, ICEY, MEMBERS OF COURTROOM AUDIENCE
Perhaps ten faces.  Most are frenetic.  Our two LOAFERS are having fun.  
General hubbub o.s.  A gavel o.s.

				ICEY
			(yelling)
		If the People of Marshall County...

				LOAFERS
			(cynically, across her)
		Bluebeard!  Bluebeard!

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN
He looks to sound of gavel.  The hubbub and the gaveling stop.

				LAWYER (o.s.)
		Will you identify the prisoner?

JOHN looks over his shoulder in same direction as the gavel.

				LAWYER (o.s.)
		Please, little lad.  Won't you look yonder...

His pointing finger enters the SHOT.  JOHN shakes as if he had a cold.

				LAWYER (o.s.)
		...and tell the Court if that is the man who 
		killed your mother?

JOHN looks at the finger.  Short pause.

				LAWYER (o.s.)
		It's all right, Mrs. Cooper.  You can take the 
		little fellow away.

The LAWYER's hands gently help him from chair.

GROUP SHOT -- RACHEL AND CHILDREN
... as LAWYER's hands consign JOHN to RACHEL.

				LAWYER (o.s.)
		Merry Christmas to you and yours, Mrs. Cooper.

The CHILDREN bob and reply, ad lib, "Merry Christmas to you."  RACHEL sniffs.

				LAWYER (o.s.)
		And what's Santy Claus going to bring you, 
		little man?

Above JOHN's head, by winding and holding to ear, RACHEL pantomimes a watch.

				LAWYER (o.s.)
		Oh-ho-oo-o!

				ICEY (o.s.)
		Them is the ones he sinned against, my friends!

Gaveling starts.

				LOAFER (o.s.)
		Bluebeard!  Bluebeard!

				CROWD (o.s.)
		Bluebeard!  Bluebeard!

As RACHEL and CHILDREN turn to go, gaveling and hubbub fade and we

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

INT. A CAFE -- NIGHT
RACHEL and her CHILDREN sit in two booths in a corner, next to a big front 
window.  Christmas parcels on bench at RACHEL's right.

FULL SHOT -- RACHEL AND HER GROUP, THEN CAFE AND WINDOW
Sound o.s. of approaching crowd.  As we PULL BACK we bring in a few other 
customers and the big window.  There are Christmas decorations in the cafe 
and the street outside is hung with them.  Thirty feverish people, some of 
whom carry torches, enter the scene; ICEY stares in the window and screams.

				ICEY
			(high-pitched)
		Them's hers!

Everyone in the cafe stands up.  RACHEL gathers her parcels.  ICEY rushes to 
door and opens it.

				ICEY
		Them's her orphans!

She turns to crowd.

				RACHEL
		Where's Ruby?

				CLARY
		She went.

ICEY shouts into the cafe.

				ICEY
		Them poor little lambs!

ICEY turns to the street mob.  RACHEL hurries her CHILDREN to door.  ICEY 
leaves door to yell at mob.

				ICEY
		Them's the ones he sinned against, my friends!

				CASHIER
			(across Icey)
		Go out the back way, Miz Cooper.

As RACHEL leaves SHOT, the CASHIER shouts and locks the door.

EXT. BACK ALLEY -- NIGHT -- PANNING SHOT -- RACHEL AND COMPANY 
...emerging from door.  MARY and CLARY come out first and start walking to 
our left.  RACHEL comes out and hurries off to our right, followed by JOHN 
holding PEARL's hand.  We PAN to MARY and CLARY.

				CLARY
		Ain't we goin' to the Bus Depot?

No answer.  They turn and we PAN with them as they hurry after RACHEL, and we 
bring in RACHEL, charging away from us with her brood hustling to keep up.

GROUP SHOT -- FEATURING WALT AND ICEY
ICEY carries a torch.  She is flanked by rabid faces and smiling LOAFERS, one 
of whom carries an axe.  As she speaks, a MAN rushes up to WALT and gives him 
a rope.

				ICEY
			(shouting, high-pitched)
		Draggin' the name of the Lord through the evil 
		mud of his soul!

				WALT
			(bellowing)
		Come on!

They all start marching, in step.

PANNING SHOT -- RACHEL AND CHILDREN
Marching and voices o.s. and in BACKGROUND.  Carrying Christmas parcels, they 
hurry alongside a building and at CENTER of PAN, cross the end of a street.  
The MOB marches down the street TOWARDS CAMERA; MEN run to join it.

				ICEY
			(high-pitched)
		He lied!

				WALT
		Tricked us!

				ICEY
		He taken the Lord's name in vain and he 
		trampled on his Holy Book!

				WALT
		String that Bluebeard up to a pole!

				ICEY
		He's Satan hiding behind the Cross!

				OTHERS
			(ad lib)
		Lynch him!  String him up!

We PAN RACHEL and CHILDREN past this street and they hurry towards RUBY, who 
stands alone in BACKGROUND, facing the jail.

HEAD CLOSE-UP -- RUBY'S ECSTATIC FACE
In BACKGROUND, RACHEL and CHILDREN hurry towards her.  MOB noise o.s.  
Hearing the approach of RACHEL'S GROUP, RUBY turns the back of her head 
towards us.  Now there are no mob voices; only the ominous sound of fifty-odd 
people marching step.

				RUBY
		I love him!

TRACKING SHOT -- RUBY
Ominous silence.

				RUBY
		He loves me because I'm so purty!  You think 
		he's like them others!

SIDE TRACKING SHOT -- RUBY, RACHEL AND GROUP
Marching sound o.s.  RACHEL firmly takes RUBY's arm and drags her off in our 
direction.  RACHEL shoos MARY and CLARY ahead of her.  JOHN and PEARL flank 
RACHEL, clinging to her wide skirts.  RUBY, nearest us, keeps looking back 
over her shoulder.  We TRACK them alongside of JAIL to rear of JAIL.

				RUBY
			(continuing)
		You took on something awful about him buying me 
		that there movie book.  You was so mad, you 
		shot him and the blue men took him.

On "blue men," we stop TRACKING and, as GROUP leaves SHOT, CENTER a POLICE 
CAR, waiting at rear door of JAIL.  POLICEMEN start out of door.

MEDIUM GROUP SHOT -- POLICEMEN AND PREACHER
They roughly hustle PREACHER into the car.  Marching sound o.s.

SHOT -- FROM WITHIN CAR -- BART
PREACHER and POLICE are in b.g.  Through car window we see BART THE HANGMAN 
come out of his door.  He wears his derby.  A POLICEMAN puts head out of 
window.  Marching o.s.

MEDIUM SHOT -- BART THE HANGMAN
On porch, by door, is a doll's perambulator, but this time there is a 
Christmas wreath on the door.  Marching o.s.

				POLICEMAN (o.s.)
		Hey, Bart!

Auto engine starts up o.s.

HEAD CLOSE-UP -- BART

				BART
		Yeah?

MEDIUM SHOT -- POLICEMAN
Marching o.s.

				POLICEMAN (o.s.)
		We're savin' this bird up fer you!

HEAD CLOSE-UP -- BART
Marching o.s.

				BART
		This time it'll be a privilege.

FULL PANNING SHOT -- POLICE CAR, THEN RACHEL AND GROUP
The car jumps fast out of SHOT and we PAN PAST BART and CENTER RACHEL and 
GROUP, walking fast away from us.  Mob voices o.s.

				A VOICE
			(o.s., over departing car)
		Bust the door down!

CLOSE GROUP SHOT -- RACHEL AND CHILDREN
Clutching Christmas parcels, they hurry away from us into darkness.  RUBY, 
hanging back, dragged by RACHEL, babbles over her shoulder.

				RUBY
			(happily)
		They'll git him out.  I'll git my things ready 
		-- my shawl and my Mickey Mouse watch that 
		don't run and the straw hat with the flower, 
		and we'll be married and live happily ever 
		after.

				VOICES
			(o.s., ad lib, cutting across Ruby)
		Bust down the door!  Set fahr to it!  Where's 
		that axe?!  Climb up on the balcony!  You six 
		git 'round to the back!

				ICEY
			(o.s., screaming)
		People of Marshall County!

					DISSOLVE TO

FULL SHOT -- NIGHT LANDSCAPE -- PINE TREES AND SOFTLY FALLING SNOW

					DISSOLVE TO

EXT. RACHEL'S HOUSE -- EVENING; SNOWING -- CLOSE SHOT -- RACHEL AT MAILBOX
She peers into empty mailbox.

				RACHEL
		Nothing!

She slams the box shut and, as we TILT and PAN, walks away from us through 
snow towards her lighted house.

				RACHEL
		I'm glad they didn't send me nothing!  Whenever 
		they do it's never nothing I want but something 
		to show me how fancy and smart they've come up 
		in the world.

She goes into the house.

INT. RACHEL'S KITCHEN
It is decorated for Christmas.

GROUP SHOT -- RACHEL AND CHILDREN
Rachel enters; the four girls stand in line, packages ready; JOHN stands in 
b.g., in doorway to next room.

				MARY
		Can we give you your presents now?

CLOSE SHOT -- RACHEL

				RACHEL
		Shoot!  You don't mean to say you got me a 
		present?

Their hands hold packages up to her.

				RACHEL
		Shoot now!

She takes a package.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN 

				RACHEL (o.s.)
		Why, Ruby!

Embarrassed, JOHN leaves the SHOT.

				RACHEL (o.s.)
		A POT-HOLDER!

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN -- NEW ANGLE
From a fruit bowl, he selects the biggest apple, shines it on his shirt, 
wraps it in the doily under his bowl, opens a drawer and gets out a clip 
clothes-pin, clips his package, and leaves SHOT.

				RACHEL
			(o.s., continuing)
		And much neater than last year's, Ruby!

Sound of tearing gift paper o.s.

				RACHEL (o.s.)
		And Clary!  ANOTHER POT-HOLDER!  Ain't that 
		thoughtful.  I'm always burnin' my hands.

FULL SHOT -- RACHEL AND CHILDREN, OVER JOHN
... as he enters with present.  RUBY and CLARY are standing aside; MARY and 
PEARL hold up a third pot-holder.

				RACHEL
		And did you two make this together?

				MARY
		You hop us, some.

CLOSE SHOT -- RACHEL, ACCEPTING JOHN'S GIFT
She opens it.

				RACHEL
			(quietly)
		John, that's the richest gift a body could have.
			(continued, briskly)
		You'll find your presents in the cupboard under 
		the china-closet.

GROUP SHOT -- RACHEL AND CHILDREN

				RACHEL
		You know where, Ruby.

All turn and run through door except RUBY, whom RACHEL detains.

				RACHEL
		Ruby:
			(she takes a box from 
			 her apron pocket)
		This is yours.

RUBY opens it quickly; it is a cheap costume jewelry flower-spray.  RUBY and 
RACHEL kiss like grown women and RUBY goes to join the others.

FULL SHOT -- RACHEL
She turns to her stove and is framed by Christmas garland in b.g.; banging 
pots about and stirring; praying as she works, which is the best way to pray.
Appropriate noise, o.s., of opening presents.

				RACHEL
		Lord save little children! (bang) You'd think 
		the world would be ashamed to name such a day 
		as Christmas for one of them... (bang) ... and 
		then go on the same old way. 
			(she starts stirring)
		My soul is humble when I see the way little 
		ones accept their lot. 
			(she pauses in stirring)
		Lord save little children!  The wind blows and 
		the rain is cold.  Yet, they abide...

In BACKGROUND, the GIRLS run upstairs, their new dresses over their arms.  
RACHEL glances over her shoulder.

MEDIUM SHOT -- JOHN -- RACHEL'S VIEWPOINT
JOHN stands in next room, looking at something in his hand.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN -- IN OTHER ROOM
We see he holds a watch.  He looks like any boy, rich or poor, with his first 
watch.

HEAD CLOSE-UP -- RACHEL

				RACHEL
			(whispering, so that 
			 he does not hear)
		For every child, rich or poor, there's a time 
		of running through a dark place; and there's no 
		word for a child's fear.  A child sees a shadow 
		on the wall, and sees a Tiger.  And the old 
		ones say, "There's no Tiger; go to sleep."  And 
		when that child sleeps, it's a Tiger's sleep, 
		and a Tiger's night, and a Tiger's breathing
		on the windowpane.  Lord save little children!

JOHN enters boldly behind her and, with a scrape, masterfully swings a chair 
around close to her and straddles it.  RACHEL turns her back to us.  She 
expects him to speak, he doesn't, so she fills in:

				RACHEL
		That watch sure is a fine, loud ticker!

JOHN gives her a burning, proud smile.

				RACHEL
		It'll be nice to have someone around the house 
		who can give me the right time of day.

JOHN finds his tongue.

				JOHN
		This watch is the nicest watch I ever had.    

				RACHEL
		A fella just can't go around with run-down, 
		busted watches.

She turns back, face to us, and goes on with her stirring.  JOHN goes off 
towards the staircase to join the GIRLS; then turns back.

CLOSE SHOT -- JOHN

				JOHN
		I ain't afraid no more!  I got a watch that 
		ticks!  I got a watch that shines in the dark!

He turns and hurries to the stairs.

HEAD CLOSE-UP -- RACHEL
Over the sound of his running upstairs:

				RACHEL
			(telling us)
		They abide and they endure. 

					LAP DISSOLVE TO

FULL SHOT -- STARRY SKY

FADE IN TITLE:

				THE END







Screenplay by James Agee
1