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THE VIRGIN IN THE ICE

ACT TWO

EXT. BOTERELL'S MANOR - NEXT DAY

Beringer and Cadfael are riding their horses over a field road...in the distance is rather large structure...Boterell's Manor.

CADFAEL (off camera) I think we will get worse news at Boterell's Manor.

INT. THE MANOR - DAY
It is the master bedroom...we see feet and bare hands under bright red covers. A SERVANT enters through a wooden door. Beringer and Cadfael follow him in.

SERVANT Me Lord Boterell?...My Lord Boterell? The King's Officer Hugh Beringer to see you from Shrewsbury...and a Monk.

CADFAEL Brother Cadfael...my Lord.

They all come closer. The Servant comes and helps BOTERELL out of bed.

BOTERELL You--You are most welcome. God knows we have need of you in these parts. I'm afraid you will find me some disarray...I've been in a fever these past few days.

BACK TO CADFAEL

CADFAEL Lord Brothrell...Ever since the Sub Pryor of Wuster sent word that they have been lost, we have been in search of Lady Ermina and her companions...Her brother...Yves we have found.

BOTERELL Alive?

CADFAEL Oh...Yes.

BOTERELL Praise God! And...Sister Hilaria?

CADFAEL Sister Hilaria is dead. Defiled and murdered most likely by the same outlaws that attacked your manor.

BOTERELL (shaken) Dead! Oh God no! I thought---I thought she had escaped with Brother Oswin.

BERINGER Where is the Lady Ermina? Yves said you escaped together.

BOTERELL I--I don't know where she is.

INT. MANOR KITCHEN - SAME DAY
Someone is pour a glass of wine into Beringer 's cup...Boterell is at the other end of the table...Cadfael is looking to his ailment.

BOTERELL Augh! The bandit chief will be smarting with the nick I gave him. But in the end...he had the better of me.

CADFAEL Now...How does that feel.

BOTERELL Much better...brother. You have a healing touch. I--I could do no more---I had Ermina to save. I took her...and rode away...deep into the woods.

BERINGER How is it you came to lose her?

BOTERELL You cannot charge me more bitterly than I have accussed myself! She was frantic with tears for her brother...and went back to look for him.

BERINGER You let her go alone?

BOTERELL No! I went after her---but lost her in the darkness. I rode some miles before I fainted from my wounds and fell from my horse. Thank God, my Steward found me.

BERINGER Well---We must continue our search. (he gets up and takes his sword) If you hear word of her, send for us at Shrewsbury.

BOTERELL I will my Lord...now that I have my legs back. I'll keep looking--- (he begins to get up with difficulty) ---until she's fou----nd!
Cadfael rushes to his side to help him.

CADFAEL I think you should rest your injries...a day or two longer... yes...and your mind too! We are all on the same quest. Between us ...we shall find Ermina.

Boterell smiles slightly as they all leave.

EXT. OUTSIDE BOTERELL MANOR ON THE ROAD - DAY
Beringer and Cadfael ride away from the manor...snow is falling.

BERINGER Man stays home to nurse his cuts and abrasions...when his bride is lost.

CADFAEL Oh don't be so hard on him, Hugh! He suffered much!

Cadfael looks up and outward.

BERINGER Where do we look now?

CADFAEL I fear we must break off the search for today...there's a storm coming from the east.

BERINGER Storm! There's hardly a breath to stir this mist!

EXT. SHREWBURY ABBEY COURTYARD - NIGHT
The wind is fierce as people seek shelter in and around courtyard.

INT. INFIRMARY
Cadfael is holding Brother Oswins hand.

CADFAEL Well....I must be getting to vespers. I, Robert and Brother Jerome have my faults by heart...it wouldn't do to give them lateness to office as well. He puts his left hand on Oswin's head. Come back to us, Oswin...I miss you boy...I'd sacrifice a thousand pots to your clumsiness...only come back.

Yves comes up as Cadfael gets up from Oswin's bed.

(he continues, whispering) You should be in bed.

YVES I don't want to sleep. Let me look after him until after Vespers...has he said anything to help? Does he remember us?

CADFAEL No not yet...but he may! You sit with him awhile.

Cadfael leaves...Yves looks down as we HEAR the singing of Vespers over.

CLOSE ON CADFAEL...THEN MOVING AMONG THE MONKS AS THEY SING

BACK ON OSWIN
He awakens faintly hearing the vesper songs of his fellow monks.
He looks at Yves looking down on him.

OSWIN Your not of this house. But... I feel I should know you.

YVES Oh you have no need...for short time...my name is Yves Hugenot. You came to warn us at Boterell's Manor.

OSWIN The snow was threatening...I had medicines to deliver...How did----

YVES Brother Cadfael found me and brought me here...but my sister Ermina is still lost.

OSWIN Was there---a nun?

YVES Sister Hilaria.

OSWIN Hilaria. (HE BREATHES IN HARD) Hilaria! Where is she?

Yves begins to back away...fearful at his outburst. Brother Jerome stands behind him and stops his movement.

JEROME She's here...brother.............. Most revrently tendered and coffined awaiting her sisters...she was found ravished and murdered.

OSWIN N--No! De--dead?

JEROME It is forbidden to wish her back Brother...she is with God!

OSWIN Oh---! No-o-o-! E--eaugh!

Oswin begins thrashing about the bed...screaming. Jerome backs away as Yves tries to restrain him.

OSWIN (panicky) Dead! Lord--Forgive me! What have I done?

He is clearly out of his head at this point...a baby cries...Jerome looks and sees that Oswin's outburst are taking notice by others in the infirmory.

OSWIN I have seen your death!

YVES (restraining him) You must not vex yourself...sir! Lie down! You're too weakto rise!

OSWIN She had been with me! She had no fear of me! Oh God forgive me!

Jerome...fearful begins to run out of the infirmary area

OSWIN What have I done!

With all his strength he throughs young Yves to the floor and bolts out bed and runs to the door...opening it to the wind, snow and the oncoming storm. Yves runs after him...the both slip and stumble in the icy courtyard.

YVES (yelling) Oswin!

INT. VESPERS HALL

Rudolphus is giving the sign of the cross to the monks

RUDOLPHUS Deos...ophilious...spiritus----

Jerome runs in an interrupts.

JEROME Father Abbott! Come quickly! Brother Oswin has gone mad.

Rudolphus quickly turns to the door and runs along with Pryor and Cadfael close behind....the other Monks disburse.

ON CADFAEL IN THE COURTYARD
The storm is fierce as he runs out to the gate. Beringer is there before he can get there.

BERINGER Cadfael! We'll never find him in this!

CADFAEL We must!

Beringer restrains the monk.

BERINGER We can't...it's hopeless! We'll track him when its light! Come on! Come with me!

Cadfael gives up and is led back to the Sanctuary by Beringer .

INT. SOMEWHERE IN THE ABBEY
Brother Cadfael, Brother Jerome and in background Beringer are there.

CADFAEL Did he say...I killed Sister Hilaria? Or is that the meaning you give us.

The Abbot and Pryor are at the table...the Abbott is sitting and Pryor stands just behind him.

ABBOTT Give us his own words...Brother Jerome !

JEROME He said...Forgive me Sister! Forgive my Weakness...my mortal sin...I have been your death!

PRYOR Why else would Brother Oswin run out into the night...that he is guilty of something!

Beringer comes forward.

BERINGER Guilt or innocent...its for the law to decide! It is not to say it's so, just because one fragment fits!

PRYOR Even in so clear a fragment as a confession...my lord?

BERINGER Listen to yourself...what are you saying? The violation and murder of a young nun? For my own part, I don't believe Brother Oswin is capable of such a deed! Cadfael?

Cadfael looks flustered.

CADFAEL I-I don't want to believe it...but I can't deny they weren't together!

JEROME There! You see! Even Brother Cadfael will not defend him! Brother Oswin is his favorite!

The Abbot slams his hand down on the table top.

ABBOTT That will do! Brother Jerome!

BERINGER So he may have run with Sister Hilaria after the sacking of Boterell's Manor...but that does not mean what you suggest!

JEROME There was blood on our dear Sister's shift..and Brother Oswin was wounded.

BERINGER Do you think he could attack her... after taking such a beating?

JEROME He might have done it before! The wounds he received at the hands of the bandits, might have covered those received by Sister Hilaria.

BERINGER Well you might as well say the Earth moves around the Sun with so little proof! An answer that explains life and death, must be an answer that explains all!

PLRYOR ...And if it's the wrong answer?

CADFAEL Truth...is never the wrong answer.

EXT. THE WOODED AREA (SCENE AT BEGINNING) - NIGHT
Yves is trying to stop Oswin as they plow through the storm heading for the same cottage he and Hilaria took refuge the night before.

YVES (yelling) Brother Oswin! Turn back! You'll die out here! You're ill you should be in your bed!

They push on until Oswin suddenly stops and looks at....
EXT. THE SHELTER FROM THE NIGHT BEFORE
Yves looks too. They both head for it.....MONTAGE FADE TO:
EXT. IN THE WOODS - SUNRISE, THE NEXT MORNING
THE PATH....Cadfael leads a group of men including Beringer ...yelling out "Yves !" and "Oswin".
CUT TO:
INT. THE SHELTER
Yves is holding Oswin in his arms...he hears the horses and his name being called out from outside.

YVES (shaking Oswin) Oswin? Wake up---They've come for us!

Oswin does not stir...Yves lays him down and goes outside the hut. He runs along the path.

YVES (yells) Hey!!! Over here!!! Over here!!! Praise God...I thought you'd never find us....

THE HORSEMEN STOP and dismount and it is then Yves realizes that it isn't Beringer or Cadfael....but HIGHWAY BANDITS. TWO BANDITS dismount and quickly grab the young boy. THE BANDIT CHIEF comes up on his horse and removes his scarf from his face.

BANDIT CHIEF Well...Well, what have we here...an orphan from the storm.

The boy struggles.

YVES Let go! How dare you! Tell your men to let loose hold of me!

BANDIT CHIEF Gwuine? Hand me up that toy he wears on his belt.

Gwuine hands the dagger to the Chief.

BANDIT CHIEF Hmmm.....silver...with precious pebbles set in the hilt. Very fine! One of a pair...maybe. Where is the other? Your sister...perhaps...Ermina!

The boy realizes who he is dealing with and is frightened.

BANDIT CHIEF Oh yes...my Lord Hugonan...I know who you are...I think your uncle will pay handsomly to have you back. Bring him!...Alive!

The TWO UNDERBANDITS grab Yves and lead him off.

EXT. THE SAME WOODED ROAD - LATER ON IN THE DAY
Cadfael is leading his horse. A YOUNG WOMAN dressed in green comes out of the wooded area not observing the Monk. Cadfael comes up behind her and she is startled...she draws a dagger. Cadfael grabs her wrist.

CADFAEL Good day...my Lady Ermina.

INT. SHREWSBURY ABBEY (THE BIG FIREPLACE)
Ermina paces back and forth in front of the fireplace. She goes passed it walking toward an archway opening. ABBOT RUDOLPHUS and Cadfael enter from an adjacent door.

ABBOTT What happened to you my child? Where have you been til now?

ERMINA In a shelter...with a woodsman...and his wife...they came for me lost in the forest, after the attack on Richard's manor.

Abbot turns to Cadfael.

ABBOTT You were making your way here...when Brother Cadfael found you?

ERMINA The Woodsman told me the way. I'm afraid you made a poor exchange.., gaining me and losing Yves .

Cadfael, Beringer and Pryor look on.

ABBOTT Daughter! We are overjoyed to find you whole and well!

ERMINA If there is anything I could do to help in the search-----?

CADFAEL There is but one way you can help and that is you will remain here...don't take a step beyond these walls...so that we can find your brother so that he can join you.

ABBOTT Lord Beringer ? I can rely on you to get this happy news to Lord Bottrell?

ERMINA Richard survived?

BERINGER He did...small thanks to you. You acted very foolishly my lady.

ON CADFAEL

ERMINA Rather than scolding me, my lord, your energies can be best spent looking for Yves ...or my tutor...Sister Hilaria. ...I take it there is no word of her or--

She looks directly at the grave look on Cadfael's face.

INT. THE CHAPEL AREA - DAY
Sister Hilaria lays in state in an open coffin...Cadfael enters with Ermina...he stops to let Ermina look...she comes toward the body slowly.

ERMINA This is my work.

CADFAEL No...No...Nothing of the kind. A man did this....he and he alone must answer for this.

ERMINA If I hadn't set my heart to marrying Richard....Had I consented to go with Brother Oswin...Sister Hilaria would be living now!(SHE BEGINS TO CRY)

CADFAEL No profit in this child..We go from where we stand...we answer for own evils and we leave the rest to God.

ERMINA Where was God when Sister Hilaria was being violated...and murdered.

CADFAEL He was taking note of all...and making a place beside Him. (SHE TURNS TO HIM) Do you wish her back from such a place?

She falls into his arms crying.

ERMINA Why should I do so much harm! Ermina!

They turn from Hilaria's body and leave.

EXT. THE WOODED ROAD - DAY
The bandits are riding at a slow pace. Yves is on foot tied to a donkey's tail. HE struggles with his bonds and manages to rip his arm open on something sharp in the sack on the donkey's back....leaving a blood trail. PULL BACK to reveal a desolate mountainous terrain.

INT. A ROOM AT THE ABBEY - DAY
Ermina is given a drink by Cadfael.

CADFAEL There you are...Now...Young lady I have some questions for you and I expect some straight answers.

Cadfael moves over to the table and takes a bag and walks overto the window area.

CADFAEL Mmmm..Who was this woodsman, who brought you so near to us, but doesn't show himself?

ERMINA I wasn't with any woodsman...I told you I found my own way here.

Cadfael begins to put things in the bag.

CADFAEL Naah! The truth now! I saw footprints in the forest...much to large to be yours!

ERMINA Brother Cadfael (HE RESPONDS "HUH?") What would happen to any of my Uncle's men here if they came in search of us?

CADFAEL They would be held as prisoners-of-war.... that is the Undersherriff's duty! (He finishes the bag and comes over to her).. But...It's not mine.

ERMINA You would not betray such a man.

CADFAEL I take no sides here...I sure that Hugh Beringer would expect to go his way in every particular...But I already have to tell you, that he has knowledge of a stranger in these parts. A dark man...who wears a sword beneath his cloak.

He moves closer to her. She peers around him as if checking if anyone would be hearing them.

ERMINA His name is Olivier Du Britannia.

CADFAEL Oh! He's French?

ERMINA Syrian. His mother was of that country and his father was a knight of the Crusade. He lent toward his father's faith and came to Jerusalem, where he took service with my uncle.

CADFAEL And he wasn't afraid to come here...to these stormy regions

ERMINA He fears nothing! He is---bravery itself! If you saw him once, you would hold him in great affection.

CADFAEL Very well. Your champion is quite safe with me...(HE GOES OVER AND PICKS UP HIS CLOAK) I will do nothing to uncover him....Now! Tell me about old Bohre

Ermina goes grave looking and gets up from the chair and turns to her left, toward the window keeping her back to the Monk.

ERMINA I thought I loved him...but...(TURNS TO CADFAEL) It was a childish fancy....by my folly, I have brought my brother into danger...I never thought I'd hear myself say it before...Yves means much more to me than Richard ever could!

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL Strange. It is the threat of loss, that makes us realize what we value the most. (HE COMES FORWARD AND TOUCHES HER CHEEK WITH THE BACK OF HIS HAND.) You will go back to the guest house and take your rest.

EXT. THE BLOOD ON THE SNOW - DAY
Yves 's blood trail blots the snow in patches. He croutches low to mules backside to see how the trail is doing.

EXT. THE WOODED CLIFF
A BANDIT HENCHMAN yells down to the Bandit Chief. It is clearly their hideout.

INT. CADFAEL'S ROOM
He bends down to a chest and lifts something covered in cloth. Moving the cloth back we see the hilt of sword or a dagger. He takes the short sword dagger and puts it in the belt of his monk's robe. He goes to the door and picks up the bag he had before and goes out stopping in the doorway. He turns and looks back in...then shuts the wooden door.

EXT. ABBEY COURTYARD
Father Abbot Rudolphus comes up to Cadfael, who is just about to mount a horse.

ABBOTT Must you go?

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL Yes, Father I must. Ever since Brother Oswin has come to our house, he has been like a son to me. (ON THE ABBOTT;CADFAEL P.O.V.) I should have never left him alone with Yves ! Now my foolishness has lost them both...I must put it right! (HE MOUNTS)

ON ABBOTT

ABBOTT And if I order against it?

ON CADFAEL who looks sullenly at the Father...

BACK ON THE ABBOTT

ABBOTT Then go with my blessing. (HE SIGNS THE CROSS)

Cadfael smiles and spurs the horse on.

CADFAEL Thank you Father.

He travels on out the Abbey gate.

EXT. THE BANDIT CAMP (A CAVE)
One of the henchman is man-handling young Yves out into snow. The Bandit chief comes up to him.

BANDIT CHIEF So...tell me. Where is your sister? Bitten out your tongue on the way did you?

Yves struggles.

YVES I speak when I have something to say!

He grabs the boy by the left arm and twists it behind the boy's back.

BANDIT CHIEF Where---is she? When I ask boy...wise men answer.

YVES Do you think I would betray her into your hands? So that she wind up the same way as Sister Hilaria?

The Bandit chief laughts.

YVES I seen what you did...you pig!

BANDIT CHIEF Pig am I? Then I better teach you how to squeal! (He throws Yves to the ground) Warren! Make him tell you where his sister is...break him if you have to...but no lasting hurt...His uncle won't pay us, if the goods are damaged beyond repair!

The HENCHMAN takes Yves away.

EXT. A WOODED AREA - DAY
Cadfael walks toward A MAN WITH A DOG....HIS NAME IS DUTTON.

DUTTON Yeah! Oswin layed about here, brother. Almost missed him in the snow.

CADFAEL And the brook where Sister Hilaria was found...how far away is it...a mile?

CADFAEL WALKS AROUND HIM.

DUTTON About that.

CADFAEL WALKS TOWARD HIS HORSE AND TURNS.

CADFAEL Tell me...Master Dutton? Are there many places here to that store fodder?

DUTTON There's a hut or two, we shepherds use.

Cadfael turn to the horse and pats and strokes its nose.

CADFAEL Where's the nearest?

EXT. THE HUT - DAY
Crows cawing, Cadfael leads his horse by the bridle through the snow and toward the cabin like structure.

UP CLOSE as he begins to enter he sees something hanging on a roof post nail. It looks like hair. He reaches up and takes it off the nail. He then puts in his evidence bag. He then ducks under the horses head and enters the hut.

INT. THE HUT
Cadfael enters cautiously...when a hand grabs him and pushes him up against a wall. It is the SYRIAN KNIGHT...DU BRETAGN

DU BRETAGN I think I have the better of you, brother.

CADFAEL And I should think we should both had died!

LONG SHOT reveals Cadfael's dagger dangerously pointed at the young knight's stomach.

DU BRETAGN Your quick!...for an old man.

CADFAEL And your over careless for a young on... Always be aware of the unexpected stroke. ...Olivier!

OLIVIER You know my name....from Ermina of course. You are also hunting for Yves and another.... I heard you call his name in the forest... Oswin?

CADFAEL A brother of my house. He fell victum to the outlaws hereabout.

CADFAEL MOVES TO THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM. Olivier picks up a traveling cloak.

OLIVIER I think both of them were here last night. There were two sets of tracks..outside... I found this rolled up in the straw.

He hands the cloak to Cadfael

CADFAEL Oswin's traveling cloak! He didn't have it on when he left the Abbey.

Cadfael puts the cloak down and notices the straw...he picks up a bit and examines it.

CADFAEL Clover. (HE DRAGS HIS FOOT ACROSS THE STRAW STREWN FLOOR AND THEN STOPS; HE PICKS UP SOMETHING OFF THE FLOOR.) A Nun's habit and and a wim pull. (HE HANDS THEM OVER TO Olivier)

OLIVIER Blood! What does it mean?

CADFAEL Didn't Ermina tell you about her tutor, Sister Hilaria? Theses belonged to her... She was raped and murdered!(TAKING THE CLOTH) Then her body was disgarded...in a brook... near here...about a half a mile away.

OLIVIER She was with your Brother Oswin.

Cadfael drops the clothing.

CADFAEL Yes. Well...Come! (HE STARTS TO LEAVE) We'll see where these tracks will lead.

Olivier grabs his helmet and follows Cadfael out the door.

EXT. MOUNTAIN TERRAIN (THE OUTLAW HIDEOUT) - DAY
Its a LONG SHOT of Cadfael and Olivier on the twisting road below the snow covered and barren mountain terrain.

CLOSE UP on horse tracks in the snow.

CADFAEL These are last night's tracks!

TWO SHOT on Cadfael and Olivier by the horse.

CADFAEL Many men on horses! As far as I can see!

OLIVIER ...And something abroad that dripped blood! Slaughtered sheep perhaps.

CLOSE ON STAINS IN SNOW. CADFAEL BENDS DOWN AND PUTS A SAMPLE OF IT ON HIS FINGER

CADFAEL Not unless they had red wine running through their veins.

OLIVIER You track well...for a monk. But I can follow it from here...Yves is my charge.

CADFAEL ....and mine! And Oswin too! There was shadow cast over him the night of Hilaria's death. It troubles me...

EXT. RIDGE ABOVE ENCAMPMENT - DAY
Cadfael and Olivier sneak up and peer down on the Thieve's hideaway...one guard is seen walking away from their vantage point. From their POV we scan the camp...there is some activity below. The Bandit Chief exits a tent under them.

CADFAEL (whispering) I see no sign of Yves...or Oswin.

OLIVIER Le Gaucher. I should have known.

CLOSE ON LE GAUCHER

CADFAEL (off camera) You know the man?

OLIVIER (off camera) Ah, yes, brother. I know him.

THEY SLIP BACK DOWN TO THEIR WAITING HORSES.

OLIVIER (very quietly) We were all sent together into these lands... to search for Ermina and Yves by the uncle... I was squire for Captain Renard.

CADFAEL Wait! You're telling me these bandits started out as a rescue party. What happened?

OLIVIER Once out of their Lord's sight. Le Gaucher and the rest mutinied and struck out for themselves. Only myself and two others remained loyal. They attacked us as we slept.

CADFAEL How did you escape?

OLIVIER Le Gaucher's parting gift. (he opens his tunic)

CADFAEL You are wounded!

OLIVIER The other's were not so fortunate.

CADFAEL What happened to your Captain?

OLIVIER The first to die!

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL Your wound troubles you. Have you used anything on it?

OLIVIER You have wisdom in such matters?

MED. TWO SHOT

CADFAEL A little.

Olivier brings a packet out from under his tunic.

OLIVIER An ungent of my own making. Centauri and the mild yellow nettle.

CADFAEL I could do no better. You know your herbs.

OLIVIER It was my mother's art.

CADFAEL Tell me, Olivier...uh..this Captain of yours...did he too, wear the tabard of the cross?

OLIVIER Oh yes! He led us to the Holy Land. You found him?

CADFAEL Yes. Olivier Le Gaucher takes no trouble to conceal his evil. But tonight we shall strike a blow to even the score....

Jump to Final Act...


Written by SteveC