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THE VIRGIN IN THE ICE

ACT THREE

FADE IN
INT. THE CAVE PRISON OF YVES.

Yves stands at the entrance as THE GUARD ENTERS with food...The Guard spits in it and shoves to Yves...who in turn throws it back at him. (Guard groan...pulls his daggar)

GUARD Brat! You're more trouble than you are worth! I'll give you something to remember me by!

HE raises the dagger, but an unseen hand stabs another dagger in the Guard's back...it is Olivier and Cadfael.

OLIVIER My Lord Hugonen! Olivier de Bretagnon at your service.

CADFAEL Be easy boy! Bretagnon is squire to your Uncle.

YVES Brother Cadfael how did you----?

CADFAEL I'll explain all this later...where is Oswin?

YVES He brought us to a hut last night...I left him there.

Olivier puts the dagger in Yves belt.

OLIVIER Come! We must hurry!

They leave the cave.

EXT. A WOODED TRAIL - NIGHT
Olivier leads the way with Yves and Cadfael following...at the crest of the hill we see torches weaving in the distance. Olivier stops them in their tracks. They rush off the trail and hide.

OLIVIER (to Cadfael) Get him away. I'll buy you what time I can.

Cadfael draws his dagger but Olivier stays his hand.

OLIVIER No...No...No...Get him clear!

Cadfael takes the lad and they leave Olivier to whatever will befall him coming toward them in the woods.

CADFAEL Come on!

Olivier sheds his coat...ready to fight. Several of Le Gaucher's men come upon him...one says" See nothin' 'ere!"...they stop and the lead thug throws his torch away and draws his sword... as does Olivier. All three of them go after him...Olivier dispatches all them in a fighting duel of swords, axes and staffs.

EXT. TRAIL BACK AT THE LAIR OF THE OUTLAWS
Cadfael and Yve come down it.
Le Gaucher sees them and they all jump into action.
A thug shouts coming at them with something in his hand.

CADFAEL Come boy! Quickly!

From behind one of Beringer 's men skewers him with a sword...as more jump from trees and all around laying arrows into the outlaws. Le Gaucher scrambles and quicklly grabs the boy.

LE GAUCHER Stand back! Stand off! If any man so much as draws a bow...he dies!

BERINGER Do as he says...stand back!

Oswin pushes past Beringer , but the undersherriff holds him back.

OSWIN NO! Leave him be! I have come for him! He is my friend!

Le Gaucher sneers at him.

LE GAUCHER You! Oh! Lord God! I thought I dealt with you the first time!

Yves finally breaks free and runs.

CADFAEL Run, boy!

The outlaw chief glares at a Cadfael and raises his sword.

LE GAUCHER Go with God, Monk!

They begin to fight. Olivier steps between and brings his sword down on Le Gaucher's before he can strike.

OLIVIER If you're done with boys and holy brothers ...fight with a man.

LE GAUCHER I'll feast on your heart half-breed!

He breaks loose and they begin sword fighting. Cadfael looks concerned...the battle rages on...the evil one grabs a torch out of the fire swinging it madly at Olivier. Olivier is overcomed and his sword goes flying..Le Gaucher brings his sword up to Olivier's throat...and chuckles evilly. SOUND of a DULL THUD...Le Gaucher's eyes go wide with surprise.

OLIVIER Always beware the unexpected stroke.

Le Gaucher stumbles back and falls, with Olilvier's dagger stuck squarely in his stomach. Olivier grabs his sword and comes up to Cadfael...he salutes the monk with the hilt pointed upward. Then leaves.

EXT. THE CAMP - NEXT DAY
Several of Beringer 's men are rummaging about the camp. Cadfael inspects the body of Le Gaucher. Beringer kneels next to him.

BERINGER I should have liked to known him your savior. Who is he, Cadfael...this paladin?

CADFAEL He's...er...the woodsman who sheltered Ermina.

BERINGER They seem to breed a remarkableWoodsman in these parts.

WARDEN comes up behind them.

WARDEN What do you want done with these animals me Lord?

BERINGER Take them back to Shrewsbury...and send word to those who suffered losses, to come and reclaim their own. (CADFAEL RISES) It's over then.

CADFAEL Well, the banditry is over...yes. Le Gaucher has paid for his crimes. But he's not paid for someone elses. He can never now speak in his own defense...and say "This and This I did...but the rape and murder of a young nun--This deed is none of mine.

BERINGER Then you doubt it?

CADFAEL Well, apart from the fatal wound, his body is unmarked.

BERINGER Then...it cannot be his blood that soiled Hilaria's shift?

CADFAEL No It's more than that. These bandits leave their victums where they fall...they care nothing to hide them. Hilaria's murderer tried to cover his crime, no doubt horrified at what he'd done. If I hadn't come across her when I did, she would have lain in that frozen water until the spring thaw.

BERINGER You are certain she was moved?

CADFAEL Oh, certain. (THEY BEGIN TO WALK) I came across a shepherd's hut--quite a way from the place where I found her. The shepherds use it to store their fodder, straw and clover. Such as I had prised from her dead fingers. Her habit and her wimple were hidden there...along with Oswin's cloak.

He looks down at Yves with Oswin...then back at Beringer .

EXT. SHREWSBURY ABBEY COURT YARD ENTRANCE - DAY
One of Beringer 's men leads a white horse drawing a gurney with Oswin on it. Cadfael and the rest are behind it.

Cadfael comes up to the horse Yves is riding. Yves turns hearing Ermina's voice.

ERMINA (off camera) Yves!

He dismounts and runs into the arms of his sister who is running down the abbey steps.

ERMINA Fine dance you led everyone....running off in the night.

YVES I could say the same thing of you, Madam.

Cadfael approaches them.

CADFAEL Yes...I am sure you have much to say to each other, but for now, Yves needs his bed.

YVES But...brother?

CADFAEL No arguments. As your physician I order it.

They both turn and go up the steps into the Abbey. Cadfael looks on. He turns to see Oswin being helped into the Infirmary by OTHER MONKS....Beringer , Pryor and Father Abbott look on. Then Pryor comes up to Beringer as they walk away.

PRYOR My Lord...a word.

Pryor Robert, Jerome and Beringer head up to the Abbey. Cadfael follows but is stopped at the door by Jerome.

JEROME Pryor Robert wishes to speak with Lord Beringer alone...brother.

CADFAEL If they are discussing Brother Oswin...then I should be there!

JEROME You are not considered to be impartial in the matter.

CADFAEL Not impartial?

JEROME You are not the only one among us that has eyes...Brother! I saw you take clover from Brother Oswin's hair when he was brought in...there was clover in Sister Hilaria's hand and you said nothing.

CADFAEL Brother Jerome---?

Jerome is irritated.

JEROME I have told you! You are not wanted! Be content!

Jerome goes in...Cadfael turns and leaves.

INT. CADFAEL"S HUT - SAME DAY
He is busy looking at the blood stained gown of Sister Hilaria and the robe of Oswin.
He turns to a table and pouring a liquid into a rag he goes to the robe and rubs it on the stain near the shoulder. He takes it away and turns as the door opens....Prior Robert Jerome and Beringer enter.

PRYOR Lord Beringer tells us there is some doubts that Sister Hilaria died at the hands of the bandits.

JEROME Grave doubts.

ON CADFAEL, TURNING TO HANGING CLOAKS

PRIOR He also said you found Brother Oswins cloak at the scene of her death, stained with blood---!

CADFAEL ---Over the heart, yes.

JEROME As it was on Sister Hilaria's habit and shift! (BACK ON CADFAEL) It could only have gotten there if Oswin had lain upon her...to satisfy his carnal thoughts!

PRIOR It gives us no pleasure to say these things...brother...but the sanctity of our house must be preserved!

JEROME What if his sinful desires contaminate us...Do you not fear eternal damnation? Our souls are in peril!

Back to Cadfael...visibly distresed at this.

CADFAEL (shouting) What about Brother Oswin's soul! (BEAKER SHATTERS IN HIS HAND) ...or is it not worth saving?

PRIOR I fear Brother Oswin is lost to us already. Condemned out of his own mouth!

BACK TO CADFAEL

CADFAEL Brother Prior, how can you judge a man so sick in mind and in body?

PRIOR Our only salvation is strict obedience to the rule!...without the rule there is no order! Would you have house consumed by the chaos beyond these walls?

CADFAEL It is the price of order that is an innocent soul that is a cost altogether to high!

Jerome takes Cadfaels wounded hand.

JEROME Brother! You have cut yourself in your ill temper. I will tend to it.

CADFAEL Th--Thank you, brother...it was my right hand that is cut....Brother Prior?

JEROME But it is the left that is bleeding.

CADFAEL It--It was the right hand that was holding the beaker! If you wish to be any use as a healer, you had better start learning your left from your right!

Cadfael looks at his hands...a revelation comes to him. He turns to the hanging tunic and Hilaria's shift.

CADFAEL ...and so might I!

CUT TO: INT. THE INFIRMARY - A LITTLE LATER ON
Cadfael walks in to where Oswin is in bed. He inspects his own hand wound..then looks up to the wounded face of Oswin.

CADFAEL I've been to your hut.

He sits across from Oswin.

CADFAEL You remember the hut where you and Sister Hilaria sought refuge from the snowstorm?

OSWIN (near whisper) It was so cold, Brother.

CADFAEL Indeed. Two poor souls caught out in such cold...must lie warm in each other's arms in order to survive.

OSWIN (still whispering) I wanted to lie with her.(BACK AT CADFAEL) Brother, I thought such things. I must have done...For she is violated and dead. Her body was hidden in shame.

CADFAEL Oswin....thoughts are not deeds. And in the space between, lies your innocence.

ON OSWIN...LOOKING SAD

OSWIN I...am...innocent?

CADFAEL Oh, beyond all doubt. Your cloak and her habit were stained in blood...but it was all on the same side. Now---if you had lain upon her...you would have stained her habit with blood...on the opposite side.

OSWIN (weeping) Oh, God...that I ever left her. By that I am guilty of her death. I should have been strong enough to bear the temptation and stay with her!

CADFAEL You must not condemn yourself beyond your due...All you did was out of care for her. What else was required?

ON OSWIN

OSWIN Courage.

BACK ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL Courage?! What was it then that moved you to challenge Le Gaucher? You saved Yves' life there at the bandit's camp. Now, wasn't that courage?

Oswin finally breaks down bawling...Cadfael moves from his seat and comforts the distraught lad.

OSWIN I knew her only a few hours. And yet... Forgive me brother, I am unworthy!

CADFAEL Oswin...You are the best of us! But you ask too much of yourself...and you undervalue what you do give.

EXT. ABBEY YARD
DREW DUTTON and HIS FATHER are there. CADFAEL..... comes up to them as Drew pats his horse that was stolen.

DREW Happy day, Brother. I thought I'd never see Pippin again.

DUTTON With our animals stolen, it would have proven a lean winter.

CADFAEL Indeed Mr. Dutton!

BOTERELL rides up on his white horse...and greets Cadfael

CADFAEL Good day, My Lord. Ah...you have come to reclaim your own?

BOTERELL Aye brother...it seems we are in your debt all of us.

CADFAEL PETS THE HORSE.

CADFAEL This fine fellow , at least,escaped the raiders.

BOTERELL Indeed. He's the same that carried Ermina and me, safe from the attack.Boterell dismounts the horse.

CADFAEL I'll--uh--see him to the stables for you.

BOTERELL Thank you, Brother.

Beringer comes up to him.

BERINGER My Lord Botrell? I find you are fully restored...and in good health?

BOTERELL I am mending---not yet fully mended.

ON CADFAEL: NOTICING A WOUND OR STAIN ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE HORSE.

BERINGER You are well enough to ride, at least.

Cadfael takes the horse hair he got from the cottage and matches with the mane of Boterell's horse...suspicion comes over him.

BOTERELL My body heals...my Lord.(HORSE SNORTS...CADFAEL SAYS "WHOA! WHOA...CAMERA TWO SHOT ON BOTERELL AND BERINGER) ...Until Ermina is found...I will never be whole...

BERINGER Forgive me...I have been meaning to ride out to your manor.

MED. THREE SHOT...BERINGER, BOTERELL AND CADFAEL IN BACK

BOTERELL Do you have word of her?

CADFAEL COMES UP TO THEM BOTH.

CADFAEL No!! But do not despair my Lord Your prayers once brought her safely to you. Come into the Abbey with me now.

HE WALKS PAST THEM AND TURNS.

CADFAEL Hmmm? We shall pray for her... together.

BERINGER LOOKS CONFUSED...CADFAEL GIVES HIM A LONG LOOK.

BOTERELL Gladly, Brother.

INT. THE ABBEY - SAME DAY
It is dark and dimly lit, only bright light of day shines through the windows. Boterell follows Cadfael into the holy sanctuary. ERMINA is praying at the alter. As they turn at a huge pillar......

CADFAEL Daughter! We have a visitor.

Ermina runs behind the communion table as if afraid.

BOTERELL Ermina...my love! Why--Why have not sent word. I have been looking for you.

Fear is on her face.

CADFAEL And great mercy it is, that you did not find her...or she might have shared the same fate as her dearest friend and tutor. Coffined here!

CADFAEL WALKS ROUND BOTERELL AND STANDS AT THE ALTER. He looks down at the body of Sister Hilaria laying in her coffin on the other side of the alter. He turns to Boterell.

CADFAEL Lord Boterell, I accuse you...and name you murderer of Sister Hilaria!

Boterell takes a step forward. Ermina gasps.

BOTERELL Brother..What is this-this madness? I know nothing of this.

CADFAEL Nothing? Nothing about the hut in Clee Forest. Nothing about a young nun who took shelter there against the blizzard.(HE CIRCLES BOTERELL) Only to fall victum to your lust. (HE STOPS AT BOTERELLS LEFT SIDE) Nothing of a freezing brook on your way home. (BOTERELL MOVES TO COFFIN)

BOTERELL But Sister Hilaria was murdered by the same bandits who attacked mymanor.

CADFAEL Oh, Yes, Of course...your manor. (MOVES TO HIS RIGHT) That was how you came by your wound, wasn't it My Lord.

BOTERELL'S VIEW OF HILARIA'S BODY...HE TOUCHES HIS RIGHT SHOULDER.
CADFAEL WALKS UP BEHIND ERMINA.

CADFAEL Except you never drew your sword in gallant defense of your manor or your men...did he my lady?

BOTERELL (TO ERMINA) Ermina? Wha-----? What have you said?

CADFAEL She has said nothing. Having chosen a coward for a husband, she could not admit her folly to the World.

BOTERELL (protests) I protected my people, as best I could!

ERMINA (emotional) You left them to be slaughtered! All of them...including my brother. And forced me to go with you into the safety of the woods.

CADFAEL You were not stabbed in combat with a bandit chief, as you have claimed, My Lord. (HE GOES DOWN TO BOTERELL) I saw Le Gaucher fighting, he is right handed and a right handed man would stab for the heart, as Brother Oswin's wounds bore witness.

BOTERELL GETS NERVOUS AND BACKS AWAY TOWARD THE DOOR.

BOTERELL I--I will listen to no more of this!

Beringer blocks his way out.

BERINGER Oh but you will!

CADFAEL But you see, the blood that stained Sister Hilaria's clothes was all on the heart side (BOTERELL MOVES RIGHT BUT IS BLOCKED BY THE DEPUTY)..the left. So the man that bled upon her would have been wounded on the right side, as you are. However...there was one person abroad that night who does favor the left hand...who possessed a knife and as I have seen myself, the will to use it...and that person was the Lady Ermina.

ON ERMINA

ERMINA I told him I would never marry a coward. He'd not touch me until then...But when he saw he would lose the lands he would gain from my dowry...it was another tale.

ON CADFAEL ET..AL...

CADFAEL No uncommon practice. To take first and marry after.

ERMINA (seething) I thought I had killed him!

BACK ON CADFAEL ET.AL...

CADFAEL But he survived. Followed after you, alone out into the night...on the way back to your manor, you came across the Shepherd's hut and there you found Sister Hilaria, alone, sleeping in the hay, wrapped against the cold, in a good man's cloak--Brother Oswin's cloak!

BOTERELL (excited) NO---No, that is not true!

BOTERELL MOVES MORE TO THE RIGHT.

CADFAEL So you took your revenge upon her for all that Ermina had done to you...and all you could no longer do to her!

BOTERELL No---I---!

CADFAEL The poor girl struggles and ripped open your wound...and you bled afresh. When you were done, you stripped her. You took her to the brook to be numbered among the victum's of the bandits.

BOTERELL You--You can prove none of this!

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL I can prove, that a tall gray horse tore its neck on nail outside the hut where Sister Hilaria was murdered.

CADFAEL BRINGS THE TUFF OF MANE UP TO HIS EYE LEVEL.

CADFAEL I found these hairs from its mane caught on that nail. Shall we match them with that fine gray you have stabled outside?

BOTERELL No. (He moves to the coffin) Only meant to hush her. Not to kill her.(ON ERMINA, IN TEARS) Oh...God, forgive me!

Beringer signals his deputy to take custody of the man. They leave Cadfael and Ermina with the coffin.

BOTERELL Oh, dear God forgive me! FORGIVE....ME!!!

ERMINA (weeping) Why did it happen to Hilaria? The kindest and most innocent of souls? What had she done?

CADFAEL (cynical) Prior Robert would have it, that such things are sent to test our faith! (PAUSE) There must be better ways.

INT. THE ABBEY FOYER
The ABBOTT sits in a chair in the middle of the floor. CHURCH BELLS ARE RINGING...as the monks file in around him, then line up facing each other. Cadfael looks toward him.

JEROME (off camera) Brother Oswin is amongst us once again.

ABBOTT Ah. (HE STANDS AND TAKES HIS ARMS) Welcome home, Brother Oswin...you have been dearly missed. (HE KISSES OSWIN'S FOREHEAD) Come.. Join your Brother's in the choir.

Oswin moves past Cadfael and the others and sits. Cadfael glances his direction with smile.

EXT. CLOUDED SKY AND HALF MOON- NIGHT
The clouds wisk by carried by high winds.

INT. CADFAEL"S HUT - NIGHT
A door opens and Olivier enters to see the table set for dinner. He leaves the door open so that we can see Cadfael enter from the snow covered outside.

CADFAEL There is wine on the table.

OLIVIER And two cups.

CADFAEL You would not leave your work unfinished?

OLIVIER But, how did you know it would be tonight?

CADFAEL (moves to other side) With Hugh Beringer guaring his prisoner, what better time to get the children away... Yves and Ermina will be here presently.

OLIVIER How can you be sure I can be fit to be trusted...you know nothing of me.

CADFAEL I know, perhaps, more than you think. I know your name...I know whom you serve. I know you were born in Syria...of a Syrian mother and a knight crusader. I know that Ermina has set her heart upon you...and by that amber stare, you have set your heart on her.

ON OLIVIER (turning and going to the hearth)

OLIVIER I fear she has deceived you.And herself.(off camera) For Ermina every soldier of the Crusade could be nothing less, than a noble knight. (ON HIM) My father was a simple man-at-arms of Robert of Normandie's Force.

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL Ah! And your mother?

OLIVIER A good woman...of Islam. I am their bastard...got between faiths and peoples. But for all that I am well mothered and fathered...and the equal to any man living.

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL Half human kind matches without ritual blessing...and not necessarily the worse half.

ON OLIVIER

OLIVIER I might imagine you speak of your own knowledge.

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL Oh, I was in the world forty years before I took this discipline for my cure. I've been soldier...sailor ..and sinner.

ON OLIVIER

OLIVIER (smiles) Hmmm.

CADFAEL (off camera) --even Crusader. At least that was pure. However, the cause fell short of my hopes. She's dead...your mother?

Olivier knods a yes.

OLIVIER I would not have left her otherwise. (off camera) She was a poor widow, who had a booth in the market at Antioch. In the street of the sailmakers.

CADFAEL What was your father like?

ON OLIVIER

OLIVIER I never knew him. They were lovers long before when he came first to Syria. But he sailed to England from St. Symeon after their last meeting. He never knew he had a son.

Cadfael turns slightly away...he knows the young knight is his son.

CADFAEL What was his name?

ON OLIVIER

OLIVIER She would not tell me. But she often praised him as being brave and kind. There cannot be much wrong with a........
TWO SHOT WITH CADFAEL IN FRONT...OLIVIER IN BACK
......mating that left her with such a fondness and pride. My mother bore the same name as your Lady Mary. Though in our tongue it would be said ...Mariam. Perhaps you met her? If you were in the Holy Land...or knew my father.

Cadfael is visibly disturbed, but dares not turn to the young Knight...for it all to be known.

CADFAEL Someone like him...perhaps. Once, long ago. But your mother...from what you told me I'm certain I would have remembered her...

THE DOOR OPENS...Ermina enters the room.

ERMINA (to Olivier) We are ready.

CADFAEL (remembering) ...all my life.

EXT. THE ABBEY COURTYARD
Cadfael and Ermina have a goodbye embrace. Yves comes up and tearfully hugs him.

YVES Brother, we owe you so much!

CADFAEL Yves, between friends there is no owing. (Yves turns and walks toward CAMERA)

Olivier comes up to him next.

CADFAEL My son. Go in peace.

MEDIUM SHOT as all three go out of the Abbey gate into the town Shrewsbury. Cadfael closes the door behind them. He turns toward the Abbey Chapel.

INT. THE CHAPEL
From behind we see Cadfael as he kneels at the alter.

CADFAEL (voice over) This was an unexpected stroke...I never thought...that so marvelous a creature would be in this World., with mine and Mariam's blood in his veins. Should I have told him? No, what need has he now for a father? But by Your grace I have seen him I have sat and talked with him of times past...I have kissed him, I have had cause to be glad of him... and shall have cause to be glad life long. What does it matter if these eyes may never see him again? And yet...they may!

He crosses himself...gets up and revrently turns to go. Beringer has been sitting in a pew in the back...gets up to greet him.

BERINGER You got your children away, then?

CADFAEL What else should I have done? There safety was entrusted to Sister Hilaria and when I found her, that responsibility became mine. I would not have her mission fail.

They exit the Chapel by the huge wooden door.
EXT. THE ABBEY COURTYARD...IT IS SNOWING.

BERINGER Well...they will be with their Uncle in good time for Christmas. The only regret I have is that I never met their Guardian...Ermina's Woodsman. Who was he, Brother?

CADFAEL (stops and turns) He was a son, a father would be proud of.

FADE TO BLACK

[FINIS]


Written by SteveC