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THE DEVIL'S NOVICE

ACT TWO

 

EXT. THE WOODED AREA TRAIL-DAY

CADFAEL RIDES THE DONKEY DOWN THE ROUGH HEWN TRAIL...ANOTHER RIDER COMES UP FROM BEHIND HIM AND GREETSHIM.

RIDER Good day, Brother!

CADFAEL HALTS THE ASS AS THE RIDER COMES UP BESIDE HIM.

CADFAEL Oh, Good day! Am I still on the right track to Ashby Manor?

RIDER You are... You'll be from Shrewsbury. How fares Brother Meriet?

THEY STOP

CADFAELWell, badly enough for me to be seeking out his father.

THE RIDER IS JANYN BECK, WHO NOW DISMOUNTS HIS STEED.

JANYN Forgive me, Janyn Beck, shocked friend of said Brother.

ON BECK: CADFAEL HAS HIS BACK TURNED TO CAMERA.

CADFAEL You were shocked when he said he was to become a monk.

JANYN You are well schooled in the understatement.

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL And his father? Did he take it very hard.

ON JANYN

JANYN He took no pleasure in it...but old Leoric, takes precious little joy in anything, Meriet does.

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL Why so?

JANYN You have not met the golden firstborn, (ON JANYN) Tristan, Meriet's brother.

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL Tristan? Oh...I see. He is his father's favorite.

ON JANYN

JANYN Which makes our Meriet, all the more perverse..against his father only. Not Tristan, strange to say. Meriet loves him dearly. If I were so discounted, I should hate them both. But I am not the stuff of monks. What about our other mystery? Is there news?

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL Sorry?

BACK ON JANYN

JANYN The disappeared cleric?

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL Peter Clemence? Oh well...His horse was found.

ON JANYNS

JANYN But not the man?

CADFAEL You seem unsurprised.

JANYN It such a mystery, Brother, at a time when men change their allegience as soon as their shirts?

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL Do you mean Master Clemence is not dead...merely reneged?

ON JANYN

JANYN Joined the Empress Maud...the Earl of Chester, Lincoln... Nottingham. For every man for sale, there is a buyer.(ON CADFAEL) Well...God speed Brother! (HE MOUNTS HIS HORSE) Though...If you want to be at Ashby by Christmas, I should get off that thing and carry it.

JANYN SPURS THE HORSE, LEAVING CADFAEL IN THE ROAD. CADFAEL LEANS OVER AND WHISPERS IN THE MULE'S EAR....

CADFAEL (whispering) Take no notice, Daisy.

HE THEN SPURS THE MULE ONWARD DOWN THE TRAIL TO ASHBY MANOR.

 

CUT TO: EXT. COUNTRYSIDE NEAR ST. GILES - SAME DAY

OSWIN AND MERIET ARE PULLING A CART, SEVERAL LEPERS ARE BEHIND THEM FOLLOWING....

OSWIN If I can remember the way I know where we can find charcoal.

 

INT. ASHBY MANOR DINING ROOM - SAME DAY

LEORIC ASHBY STANDS AND PACES AT ONE END OF THE ROOM, WHILE CADFAEL SITS AT A TABLE....

LEORIC Where is the need to consult me? Meriet has now of own will, taken another Father and Lord Abbott.

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL But did he give no reason for taking such a step? (ON LEORIC) Perhaps he saw advancement in it.

LEORIC STOPS AND TURNS TO CADFAEL

LEORIC Like my kinsman...Clemence? Or Canon Eluard? (scoffing) Men of the Church (pacing).There isn't a pinch of righteousness in any of them. Honor...duty! They serve their own dissolute ends. All I know is that I have but one son now. Meriet has put his hand to the plough...he must finish his furrow.

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL To be steadfast is a virtue, but as you say, Meriet has taken another Father. One who cannot so easily, wash his hands of him!

LEORIC COMES OVER QUICKLY TOWARD CADFAEL.

ON CADFAEL AGAIN

CADFAEL (continues) Sir, Meriet's vocation is in grave doubt. He disrupts the Abbey! He cannot remain there, if this strife within his heart continues.

CLOSE ON LEORIC

LEORIC I will not have him back!

CADFAEL Canon Eluard----

LEORIC What of him?

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL I will be plain. The Canon asks aloud, that if there is some simple but dark reason, for Meriet to shut himself away? The reason...being Peter Clemence.

ON LEORIC

LEORIC Is Clemence found?

CADFAEL No.

LEORIC Then what right does Eluard have to cast so foul a shadow over my son?

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL At least he speaks his mind! He doesn't snap and snarl and try hide the truth!

CLOSE ON LEORIC, VISIBLY INSULTED

LEORIC You overstep your mark, Brother! Return to your refuge...and let the real world live as it can.

LEORIC TURNS AND WALKS OUT OF THE ROOM AS THE CAMERA FOLLOWS ALONG THE WALL TO A SIDE DOOR OPENING...ONE OF LEORIC'S SONS MOTIONS FOR CADFAEL TO LEAVE....HE DOES.

 

EXT. THE ABBEY - DAY

FROM A CORNER OF THE HOUSE, ISOBEL LOOKS ON, AS CADFAEL MOUNTS HIS MULE...TRISTAN WITH ROSEANNA IN HAND COMES UP TO HIM.

TRISTAN Brother, you brought news to my father of my brother, Meriet. Has something happened?

MED. TWO SHOT ON THEM BOTH

CADFAEL You will be Tristan?

TRISTAN Forgive me. And the Lady Roseanna. He has not changed his mind?

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL No, his zeal remains excessive.

ON TRISTAN AND ROSEANNA

ROSEANNA As in all things.

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL Can you think of any reason as to why he would renounce the world so soon?

ON THE COUPLE

ROSEANNA It is simple. He was in the shadow of his older brother. As are all men with Tristan.

TRISTAN You will see how I am blessed.

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL Indeed.

ON TRISTAN AND ROSEANNE

TRISTAN Brother? I wish above all things, that Meriet was still with us... but if this new life is what he truly desires...you will help him through it?

ON CADFAEL

TRISTAN (continues) And say that he has my love and my prayers...always.

ON THE COUPLE

ROSEANNE Assure him of my love...Brother? I may speak in terms of love, may I not, for I will soon be his sister...and we are to be wed at the Abbey. I hope you will sing sweetly, for us?

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL Gladly. If your marriage is made in heaven.

MUSIC STARTS IN BKGND...AS CADFAEL MOVES AWAY

 

CUT TO: EXT. THE TRAIL ROAD - DAY

CADFAEL IS LEADING HIS DONKEY DOWN THE SMALL ROAD. WE FOLLOW HIM AS HE COMES TO THE SAME CROSSROAD WITH THE CROSS WHERE WE LAST SAW BROTHER CLEMENCE ON. HE STOPS AND LOOKS TO THE GROUND AND BACK AT THE CROSSROADS AND THE CROSS. HE MAKES THE SIGN OF THE CROSS AND URGES THE DONKEY DOWN THE LEFT PATH...THE SAME PATH CLEMENCE TOOK.

CADFAEL (whispering) Come on, Daisy! Come on!

HE LEADS THE ASS...WALKING SLOWLY...HE STOPS AND SEES SOMETHING ON THE SIDE OF THE TRAIL...IT IS THE GREEN FELT BRIDAL FROM CLEMENCE'S HORSE...BARBERY...HE LOOKS AROUND AND THEN SPOTS SOMETHING OFF THE TRAIL IN THE BUSHES AND UP A HILL. HE STOPS AND PICKS UP A BRACELET OR SOMETHING, LOOKING AT IT VERY CLOSELY.
SOUND OF IMPACT...WE PAN UP AND SEE AN ARROW QUIVERING STUCK JUST ABOVE HIS HEAD. HE LOOKS UP AT IT. PANNING DOWN WE SEE CADFAEL HAS TAKEN REFUGE BEHIND THE TREE FROM WHERE HE WAS STANDING...A WOMAN COMES UP THE TRAIL IT IS ISOBEL ASHBY.

ISOBEL Sorry...Brother. I took you for a wild pig. Well, not strictly true. (SHE PULLS THE ARROW FROM THE TREE) I sought you out.

CADFAEL BRUSHES THE DIRT FROM HIS FROCK.

CADFAEL You're not the first today!

ISOBEL Shall we talk, or must you not sit with women?

CADFAEL I will sit with pleasure.

ON ISOBEL

ISOBEL I'm Isobel...Leoric Ashby's ward. Leoric...Meriet's father? (ON CADFAEL) How is Meriet? (ON ISOBEL) Safe from her at least. But it must not go too far..this folly of his. He is mine, brother, whether he knows it or not.

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL You think unrequited love, drove Meriet from Ashby?

ON ISOBEL

ISOBEL Have you met the witch...Roseanna?

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL (reluctantly) Uh--Yes--I have.

ON ISOBEL

ISOBEL Could you resist...if your vows did not protect you?

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL A thought has just occured to me. (Points at her) That Meriet being the second son and Ashby Manor being of no great size....

ON ISOBEL

ISOBEL (interrupts) That Tristan would inherit all and there is no future here for Meriet...who therefore takes the cowl....No...Ashby will be his when Uncle Leoric dies. Which I doubt will ever happen...Heaven being unlikely to meet his high standards.

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL How so...the Manor?

ISOBEL (off camera) The family owns another..in the North.. by Newark (ON ISOBEL) A wedding gift and living for Tristan and the witch. Tristan and Janyn spend much time there making ready...She is SO particular! (BACK ON CADFAEL) But soon they will be gone, praise be. (She gets up and walks around the tree) So! If you love Mariet...keep him from the Tonsure...(she starts to walk away...Cadfael grabs her hand) A celibate is of no use to me at all!

ON THEM BOTH

CADFAEL And...uh..Peter Clemence..You have no thoughts of him?

ISOBEL Burst under the weight of his own vanity? Who knows..who cares?

CADFAEL Harsh words of guest...and kinsman.

ISOBEL I did not like him.

CADFAEL Nor did your Uncle!

ISOBEL Nor any of us..., save Roseanna who likes all men, the same.

CADFAEL She--uh---"befriended" him?

ISOBEL How quaintly put, Brother...she did indeed...another blow for Meriet. (She walks away)

ISOBEL TURNS BACK TO CADFAEL.

ISOBEL (taking Cadfaels shoulders) Be firm with him...he needs us both.

SHE KISSES HIM ON THE FOREHEAD AND THEN LEAVES.

 

CUT TO WOODED SCENE EXT. WOODED AREA - DAY

IN THE DISTANCE WE SEE PEOPLE PULLING A WOOD WAGON. ON THE YOKE STEM IS BROTHER OSWIN AND BROTHER MERIET...PEOPLE BEGIN TALKING....LAUGHING ALL AROUND THEM.
(CHOIR MUSIC)
AS THEY PULL THE WAGON AND THEN CROSS A HIGH BRIDGE....THEY ALL STOP AT A EMPTY FARMHUT.

OSWIN This is the spot you were seeking?

MERIET Yes...the Charcoal Burner died last year but as you can see, we can do well here.

BROWN CAPED LEPER Shall we take the logs?

MERIET Yes...of course.

OSWIN There is plenty here.

THEY START FOR THE CHARCOAL PILE.

MERIET Yes...I get a start.

OSWIN This should keep us busy for a while.

THEY WALK OVER TO THE PILE...MERIET TAKES A POLE AND STARTS PROBING THE PILE..OSWIN KICKS SOMETHING WHITE OVER TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE PILE....THE BEGGARMAN FROM THE TRAIL IS HIDING JUST BEHIND THE PILE OUT OF SIGHT....MERIET KEEPS PROBING INTO THE PILE OF LOGS...INTO WHERE THE CHARCOAL IS. OSWIN TAKES A POLE AND HELPS.....

OSWIN I am not versed in this art. Strange the smell of burning has stayed so long.

SUDDENLY OSWIN STOPS PROBING WITH HIS POLE..AT CLOSE UP WE SEE THAT HE SEES SOMETHING IN THE ASH HEEP OF CHARCOAL. (HIS POV)...WE SEE A SHOE WITH A BONE STICKING OUT OF IT.

OSWIN Meriet? Look!

MERIET SEES THE BOOT AND THE BONE AS CAMERA SLOWLY PANS OVER IT. (CHOIR VOICES BEGIN SINGING) FADE OUT...

FADE IN: NEW PAN...THIS TIME REVEALING THE FULL BURNT SKELETON ON THE GROUND...FROM THE FOOT PANNING LEFT TO REVEAL FULL SKELETON. WE SEE CADFAEL INSPECTING THE HEAD AT CLOSE RANGE. SERGEANT WARDEN COMES OVER AND KNEELS BY HIM....

WARDEN Well, Brother? Does he tell you any tales?

TWO SHOT OF THEM BOTH. MERIET SITS UNDER A TREE IN BKGRND.

CADFAEL He was a tall man...by the length of his bones...and straight....without deformity.

THE BEGGAR IS SEEN HIDING IN THE BUSHES WARDEN (off camera)

WARDEN Young, then?

BACK ON CADFAEL AND WARDEN.

CADFAEL REACHES INTO THE CAVITY OF THE SKELETON AND PULLS OUT THE HEAD OF AN ARROW....(AT CLOSEUP)...HE HANDS IT TO WARDEN.

WARDEN So! Shot before roasted.

CADFAEL And he rode a horse. Well...no sane man would use those (POINTS TO BOOT) for walking.

CLOSE ON SOMEONE SIFTING THE CHARCOAL FOR MORE CLUES.

CLOSE ON THE BEGGAR IN THE BUSHES. POV OF THE BEGGAR..AS HE WATCHES A DEPUTY WALK TO HIS RIGHT IN SCENE. IN BACKGROUND WE HEAR THE SHAKING OF THE SIFTER. CLOSEUP ON SIFTER...WHO HAS STOPPED AND RUMMAGING OVER THE LARGER PARTS IN THE BASKET...CADFAEL IS THE SIFTER AND HE BRINGS UP BITS OF CLOTH AND AN UNRECOGNIZEABLE PIECE TO STUDY IT CLOSER...

OFF CAMERA

WARDEN Brother Cadfael?

CLOSE ON THEM AS ANOTHER DEPUTY COMES UP TO THEM.

DEPUTY ...And this!

HE HANDS AN OBJECT TO WARDEN. IT IS A STRAP OF SOME KIND.

WARDEN (Cadfael looking on) That's a dagger strap...too dainty for a sword.

WARDEN MOTIONS FOR THE DEPUTY TO GO BACK TO WORK. HE QUICKLY LEAVES.

CADFAEL A dagger to find then...

CUT TO THE BEGGAR IN THE BUSHES.
CLOSE ON CADFAEL'S HANDS AS HE SIFTS THROUGH THE RUBBLE IN THE BASKET. HIS HAND COMES ACROSS WHAT LOOKS LIKE A BUCKLE.

WARDEN A loose fit, now Brother?

MEDIUM CLOSE OF MERIET LOOKING AT ALL THIS INVESTIGATION WHILE SITTING UNDER THE TREE...HE IS NOT SMILING. BACK TO CADFAEL AND WARDEN AS CADFAEL PUTS THE BUCKLE TO HIS SLEEEVE AND RUBS HARD...HE LIFTS THE BUCKLE UP SO THAT WARDEN CAN SEE. SOMETHING SHOWS AFTER THE RUBBING.....

WARDEN Another cross?

WARDEN LOOKS OVER AT MERIET, GETS UP AND GOES OVER TO HIM.

WARDEN (directly to Meriet) Tall, young...a horseman...(walking around the tree) And by this cross and ring...a priest.

HE GETS BEHIND MERIET

WARDEN (continues) Have you knowledge of such a one gone missing hereabouts?

CADFAEL COMES OVER TO THE TREE...LEANS UPON IT.

CADFAEL Why would he lead poor Oswin, to the funeral pyre on purpose? He was as shocked as anyone!

A VOICE YELLS..."HOLD THERE!" ALL THREE LOOK TO RIGHT...A DEPUTY IS RUNNING TO THE BUSH...THE BEGGAR HAS BEEN DISCOVERED. THE BEGGAR RUNS DOWN A HILL...ANOTHER VOICE YELLS "THIS WAY!" ANOTHER DEPUTY YELLS..."COME ON!" THE FRIGHTENED BEGGAR RUNS INTO THE ARMS OF SGT. WARDEN WHO WRESTLES HIM TO THE GROUND TAKING A DAGGER FROM HIM.

WARDEN Easy now! (CLOSE ON WARDEN) Here's a fine dagger for a piece of dung to carry. (HE GRABS THE SHEATH OUT OF THE BEGGARS OTHER HAND)....and a sheath to match!

 

CUT TO PRISON CELL

BEGGAR AND WARDEN AT CLOSEUP. THE BEGGAR IS VISIBLY FRIGHTENED AS WARDEN PUTS THE HANDLE OF THE DAGGER UP TO HIS FACE.

WARDEN How did you come by it?

BEGGAR I did not steal it my Lord...I am an honest man....I swear.

WARDEN TURNS THE KNIFE AROUND AND POINTS THE BLADE AT HIS THROAT.

WARDEN How?

BEGGAR (nervous) I....I found it, my lord.

WARDEN Where?

BEGGAR In the forest, my lord...the place they burn charcoal....where you found me.

WARDEN There's blood on it.

BEGGAR I killed a chicken, my Lord!

WARDEN BRINGS THE KNIFE AWAY AND STANDS UP...THEN MAKES A LUNGE OR A KICK AT THE BEGGAR...HE TURNS WHEN.... MED. LONG SHOT OF CADFAEL COMING THRU THE PRISON DOOR.

CADFAEL Sergeant Warden? The Abbot has given me leave to tend to his sores.

CLOSE ON WARDEN

WARDEN (vehemently) Well...I did not!

CADFAEL ENTERS THE CELL CARRYING HIS BAG AND HUGE WHITE CANDLE.

CADFAEL Warden? If you want any sense out of him...you'll feed and salve him...he is no use to you dead!

MED. TWO SHOT ON CADFAEL AND WARDEN; A GUARD IS AT THE DOOR.

GUARD No use alive, either...to us or any man!

CADFAEL (at Warden) You truly believe he has murdered...or do you merely wish it so...that you can tell Canon Eloard his mystery is solved?

ON THE COWERING BEGGAR IN THE CORNER OF THE CELL.

BACK ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL Leave me with him...I won't spirit him away.

BACK ON BEGGAR

BACK ON CADFAEL AND WARDEN. WARDEN TURNS WITHOUT A WORD AND HE AND THE GUARD LEAVE...CADFAEL WALKS OVER TO THE CORNER WHERE THE BEGGAR IS HUNCHED IN FEAR.

CADFAEL What is your name? Hmmm? What do men call you?

BEGGAR Harald. CADFAEL A king's name. (He kneels down to minister the wounds) How long have you been living wild?

CADFAEL PUTS THE CANDLE DOWN AND SITS NEXT TO HARALD

HARALD I...I never did violence, Brother...nor stole anything but to gain food! I found the daggar...I...I needed it for my hunting.

CLOSE ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL It seems to have done you precious little good....I never saw a body and soul so loosely strung together. Do you lack skill with the longbow as well? (HE PICKS UP THE SALVE AND DIPS A CLOTH IN IT.) This is called...Hound's Tongue. It's apt I think for--uh--this. (HE POINTS AT HARALD'S ANKLE WOUND) What? a dog bite?

HARALD GRIMACES AND GASPS AS CADFAEL APPLIES IT TO THE WOUND

CADFAEL (continued) How did you come to this life? Are you a runaway?

HARALD From a Master, who sought my blood.

CLOSE ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL For what reason?

ON THEM BOTH

HARALD Do they need a reason?

CADFAEL Now, this man who is dead.

HARALD Not by my hand, Brother...you must believe it!

CADFAEL I do. (CLOSE ON CADFAEL) But have you seen the victim?...Riding a fine dark horse, wearing clothes to match his dagger? Green velvet trimmed in gold? Did you see such a man, Harald?

ON THEM BOTH AGAIN

CADFAEL I do not seek to trick you! I know you did not kill!

HARALD I saw him, Brother...I saw him.

CADFAEL Nor should you seek to please me.(ON CADFAEL) The truth, that's all I ask.

HARALD I saw him. (CLOSE ON HARALD) Riding north...on his dark horse, as you say (MOVE IN CLOSER)...and the rich, warm cloak on him. Such a cloak! Held by a great brooch (MOVES HIS HAND JUST BELOW HIS THROAT) ...here!

CLOSE ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL A brooch?

CLOSE ON HARALD

HARALD Large! Almost as a shield boss, and as red as blood.

CLOSE ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL We have found no brooch.

BACK ON HARALD

HARALD I have not stole it, Brother.

BACK ON CADFAEL, WHO LOOKS CONFUSED AT WHAT HE HAS HEARD.......

 

CUT TO: INT. THE RECTORY INFIRMIRY THE CHARRED REMAINS OF THE DISCOVERED BODY ARE LAYING IN A PLAIN WOODEN COFFIN. ELOARD AND WARDEN ARE LOOKING DOWN ON THE BODY.....

ELOARD My Bishop will be sorely grieved.

WARDEN It is Clemence, my Lord?

ELOARD The smile is the same. (HE TURNS TOWARD THE TABLE THAT CADFAEL IS AT) Cover him! The riding shoe....unique...the jewlry... also...Ah! (PICKING SOMETHING UP) This ring was a gift, from the Bishop of Winchester, himself. (TURNS TO WARDEN)You hold a fellow for this crime, is this not so?

ON WARDEN..FOLDING HIS ARMS

WARDEN I do, sir!

CADFAEL (OFF CAMERA) I think...what Sgt Warden means to say, my Lord, is that he has grave doubts as to the man's guilt. (ON CADFAEL AND ELOARD) ...and rightly so...he is poor wretch with neither rags or crust to his name. Are we to believe he kills a man and leaves his jewels...his clothes? And single handedly builds him into a charcoal stack and burns him? I think not.

MEDIUM SHOT OF WARDEN WHO UNFOLDS HIS ARMS.

CADFAEL (OFF CAMERA) ...nor does Sergeant Warden.

BACK ON CADFAEL AND ELOARD

ELOARD Indeed...Sergeant Warden? Civil war breeds felons, like a rotting cat breeds maggots! Justice must be swift and sharp to reassure. A Churchman has been murdered. I would have that punished and a line drawn under it, before I move again from here.(HE LOOKS AT CADFAEL THEN BACK AT WARDEN) Hang him.

HE TURNS AND LEAVES. CADFAEL LOOKS DISTRESSED AT WARDEN. CLOSEUP OF A DEADPAN LOOK OF SGT WARDEN AS CADFAEL SIGHS

 

CUT TO: INT. KITCHEN AREA

CADFAEL IS AT THE FIREPLACE BENT OVER...ISOBEL ENTERS FROM THE DOORWAY AT LEFT. SHE GOES TO A TABLE PICKS UP SOMETHING.....

ISOBEL Do you turn lead into gold, here?

CADFAEL STARTS....LOOKS AROUND AND STILL KNEELS AT THE HEARTH.

CADFAEL Hmm? No..only Rosehips into syrups. (HE STANDS) Can I help you?

ISOBEL LOOKS AWAY

ISOBEL Family visit...to see Meriet. But I am told he is not at the Abbey.

SHE THEN WALKS DOWN AND OUT OF CAMERA RANGE

CADFAEL Uh---no. But he is well. (HE GOES TO THE DOORS) Isobel! I am glad your here! (SHUTS THEM, THEN HE GOES OVER TO HER BY THE WINDOW) Tell me.......Is Ashby true to the king Hmmm? Leoric, Tristan, Janyn, Meriet... all of you?

TWO SHOT ON ISOBEL AND CADFAEL

ISOBEL My Uncle Leoric, certainly, for king is king. His duty is to the name and that is that.

CADFAEL And the rest?

ISOBEL Why do you ask?

CADFAEL Well----If Clemence wasn't killed for gain or hate...the answer lies in his task...or his mission.

ISOBEL But a man is caught.

CADFAEL Oh---yes! But not condemned. Not yet.

SHE MOVES PAST THE MONK TOWARD THE TABLE.

ISOBEL Brother, there is no politics in Meriet...and as for Tristan and Janyn..they love to hunt and hawk not skulk in corners plotting. (SHE MOVES AROUND THE TABLE) When the king calls, their swords will be his...as would mine if I were allowed.

BACK AT WINDOW..ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL There is one other thing.

CLOSEUP OF ISOBEL

BACK AGAIN ON CLOSE OF CADFAEL

CADFAEL A brooch....as large as a shield boss and as red as blood. It belonged to Clemence.

ECU OF ISOBEL

ISOBEL Yes, I saw it...on his cloak.

BACK ON ECU OF CADFAEL

CADFAEL When he rode from Ashby?

BACK ON ECU OF ISOBEL

ISOBEL Yes.

BACK ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL I cannot find it. Not where he fell ...not where he burned.

CLOSE AGAIN ON ISOBEL

ISOBEL Then...surely it has been stolen.

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL Not by the wild man...of that...I am certain.

BACK ON ISOBEL

ISOBEL Then by whom?

BACK ON CADFAEL; STARTING TO WALK AWAY

CADFAEL Who knows. (HE STOPS AND TURNS TO HER) If by someone at Ashby...(he slightly winks) You would be the one to find out.

ECU ON ISOBEL

ISOBEL At Ashby?

 

CUT TO: EXT. A ROAD IN THE COUNTRY - DAY

OSWIN AND A LEPER ARE PULLING A CART....MERIET IS ON THE PORCH OF A HUT SWEEPING IT OUT.

OSWIN Brother Meriet? Brother Meriet..(PANTING) News as well as bread...The Wild Man...the one they caught in the forest...they say he killed Peter Clemence...is to hang for it.

MERIET COMES OFF THE PORCH.

MERIET What?

OSWIN Tis true..."King Harald" they call him

MERIET TURNS TO GO

OSWIN (continues) Meriet?

MERIET (ON THE RUN) I must go to Brother Cadfael!

IN HIS HASTE...MERIET STUMBLES OVER A WHEELBARROW...HURT. THE OLDER MONK AT THE COMPOUND, RUSHES TO HIM.

MERIET Ah!!!Oswin!!!!

OLD MONK Brother Meriet!

 

CUT TO:. INT. A SEMI DARK ROOM

SITTING IS MERIET...NEXT TO HIM WITH HIS BACK TO CAMERA IS CADFAEL.

MERIET I killed Peter Clemence...I shot him down in the forest, not three miles from Ashby. Tell Sergeant Warden to set that poor wretch, Harald, free. I never thought that when he was taken.......

CADFAEL (INTERRUPTS) Easy...easy! Why did you commit such a mortal sin?

MERIET Why? Because he made free with my brother's bride. the woman, I too, loved!

CADFAEL And your father,does he know of this?

MERIET How else, should I be here? He gave me choice which was no choice...to undergo this lifelong penance of the cloister or publicly admit my guilt and go to a shameful death...that's destroying our family name and ancient honor...and so him!

ON CADFAEL/MERIET

CADFAEL If you what you say is true..you have great need to ease the burdon of your guilt! Receive a priest! Meriet! Receive a priest...and confess, for your soul's comfort...it is not sufficient to confess to me,seek absolution before this thing presses you down into hell. Brother Jerome is confessor to the Novices--your confessor...I shall fetch him!

CADFAEL RISES AND STARTS TO LEAVE. CLOSE ON MERIET

MERIET I killed Clemence! I killed him!

PAN UP FROM MERIET TO CADFAEL AT THE DOOR...HE TURNS TO HIM. (A BELL IS BELL RINGING)

 

INT. OF OUTER COURTYARD PORTICO - NIGHT

JEROME WALKS BRISKLY AROUND THE PROTICO TO A HIGH TABLE WITH CANDLES ON IT...BEHIND IT IS CADFAEL.

JEROME He will not say the words.(COMES AROUND TABLE BENCH AREA)...He will not confess!

CADFAEL (off CAMERA) Of course not!(THEY WALK TOGETHER) He can lie to me...to Oswin..to the World for cause that seems good enough...but he cannot lie to his Confessor and so God. He did not kill Peter Clemence.

Jump to the Final Act....


Written by SteveC