Steve C's LOGO
[ Home > Cadfael > TV Show > - Screenplays > - - Devils Novice Act 1 ]

Screenplay Translation by Stan Blumenthal

Disclaimer

All Characters are Copyright Carlton UK Television

DEREK JACOBI as Brother Cadfael

THE DEVIL'S NOVICE

SCREENPLAY BY CHRISTOPHER RUSSELL
PRODUCED BY STEPHEN SMALLWOOD
DIRECTED BY MALCOLM MOWBRAY

C A S T L I S T

DEREK JACOBI..................................Brother Cadfael
TERRENCE HARDIMAN...................Abbot Radalfus
MICHAEL CULVER............................Prior Robert
JULIAN FIRTH....................................Brother Jerome
EOIN MCCARTHY.............................Hugh Beringer
MARK CHARNOCK..........................Brother Oswin
ALBIE WOODINGTON.....................Sergeant Warden
JULIAN GLOVER...............................Leoric Ashby
IAN REDDING...................................Peter Clemence
CHRISTIEN ANHOLT.......................Meriet
IAN MACNEICE................................Canon Eloard
PATRICK TOOMEY..........................Tristan
CHLOE ANNETT..............................Roseanna
LOUISA MILWOOD-HAIGHT.........Isobel
DANIET BETTS.................................Janyn
JOHN DALLIMORE..........................Harald
GABOR URMAI................................Jahan
(CAST LIST adapted to this transcription from the Cast List by JOSE ESCOBAR.)

ACT ONE

FADE IN: OPENING TITLES

EXT. THE WOODS - DAY

THE BLOODY HAND We see the dirty and bloodied hand of a WILD MAN. he is eating something raw that he just killed...an animal like a deer.
CLOSE on the man's face...fear comes to it as we hear an oncoming horse...it is a man riding a steed, someone of high breeding. The man stops and bolts to the nearby brush. (a whistle) The ELEGANT MERIET stops his horse...
GO TO MONTAGE of all the jewelry he is wearing and it being eyed by the Wild Man laying in wait.

EXT. LEORIC'S HOME - A MOMENT LATER THE SAME DAY

The young man rides into the farm area and is greeted by Leoric.

LEORIC Master Clemence.

CLEMENCE Leoric!

LEORIC (turns to a son) Take his horse, boy! Welcome to Ashby Manor.

CLEMENCE dismounts and lands in a puddle of muddy water.

CLEMENCE The pleasure is all yours...Cousin! He quickly goes past Leoric into the farmhouse.

LEORIC Cousin Clemence, may I present my family.

INT. THE HOUSE The family is all lined up

...My word Isobel...my youngest son Mariet...and Tristan, my elder son.

A young lady enters from another part of the house.

CLEMENCE And..The burning bush among these worthy tree trunks?

TRISTAN Our neighbor's daughter...the ladyRoseanna.

Clemence kisses her hand.

...She and I are to be wed next month.

ROSEANNA quickly releases her hand.

CLEMENCE Then clearly a life of mud and haystacks is not without it's compensations. My lady-----

LEORIC (interrupts) Will you take wine...cousin?

They leave for the dining room. Roseanna comes and then goes around Meriet.

ROSEANNAYou must learn to smile, Meriet...or you will turn the wine to vinegar.

She turns and follows the rest.

INT. BROTHER CADFAEL'S HUT CLOSE UP on a stew. A hand dips a ladle into the stew and comes up with a spoonful...taking a taste we see it is BROTHER CADFAEL. He turns as if to be speaking to someone.

CADFAEL So! Hugh Beringar is off to Westminster.

Seated is BERINGAR and standing is SERGEANT WARDEN

BERINGAR MichaelMas is upon us, Cadfael. Time to render account of the shire and its revenues to the King.

CADFAEL With you and Sherriff Prescote are away, who is going to maintain the peace in your absence?

Beringar points to his deputy...SERGEANT WARDEN.

BERINGER Him!

Cadfael puts the ladle down.

CADFAEL Sergeant Warden?

WARDEN You think I am not competent...brother?

Cadfael walks behind them...then turns in front of Warden TO BERINGAR.

CADFAEL It was---uh--Mustard Oil you wanted, wasn't it Hugh?

BERINGER Mmmmm. I said to Sergeant Warden, that ifany strange difficulty should arise, to do as I do...consult Brother Cadfael.

Warden snorts. Cadfael takes a jar from the shelf and comes back over to the table. He looks at Warden.

CADFAEL Yes...of course. Well, there we are then. That should keep the cold out. (hands the bottle to Beringer but Warden takes it instead) Use as much as you like---er--I must attend--um- Father Abbot.

Beringer gets up from the table, as Cadfael leaves, Warden opens the lid on the jar and sniffs at the contents.

CUT TO: ASHBY MANOR INT. THE DINING AREA - SAME DAY

Clemence with wine glass in hand, walks around the table,█chuckling ......getting close to ROSEANNA.

CLEMENCE (chuckling) Can you believe I was once a monk...Still am in fact. He takes Roseanne's hand.

ROSEANNE Though, not in habit...sir.

CLEMENCE Not in any habit, My Lady.

JANYN BECK, brother to Lady Roseanne stands to the right of Clemence.

JANYN My apologize...Master Clemence.I have yet to make your acquaintence...My Lady's brother...Janyn Beck.

CLEMENCE Sir...you are indeed fortunate...but not as fortunate as Master Tristan.

LEORIC Perhaps you will honor us...by attending the wedding and blessing the union.

Janyn walks around in back of Clemence and the others and leaves

BEYOND CAMERA RIGHT.

CLEMENCE (takes a drink) I thank you, Leoric. A country weddingcould be amusing. (He takes a daggar and stabs an apple). Who knows were I will be in two weeks time? The life of a diplomat is full of intrigue... (Tristan and his brother look glum) ...and fine dinners. In fact. I wonder you lads do not forsake your dunghills and take the tonsure. (Points the daggar at the shaved circle in middle back of his head...the mark of a monk).

CUT TO: ISOBEL and another SON.

CLEMENCE.A couple years in a monastry...then up and away. A cleric can fly high indeed. He takes a cup. The Bishop of Winchester is the highest in the land...Save the King himself.

ON TRISTAN

TRISTAN Master Clemence is here on the King's business.

MERIET sitting next to Isobel, looks over to Clemence.

MERIET The King's business...here?

CLOSE ON CLEMENCE

CLEMENCE He wishes to know the number of your chickens.(clucking...then laughing) No! No! No! No! I am here to rest the night and abuse the hospitality of my second cousin...twice removed. (CLOSE ON LEORIC)...and then on to Chester..... (CLOSE ON MAN PEEKING IN WINDOW) ...You know where Chester is? It's a large town some thirty miles to the North. The Earl of Chester is undecided as to where throw his weight in the Civil War. (BACK TO THE BROTHERS)...You know there is a civil wargoing on between King Stephen and his frightful cousin Maude for the throne of England.

MIDDLE BROTHER We had friends die in it...sir!

ON MERIET AND ISOBEL

MERIETAnd if the Earl of Chester does not support the King?

ON CLEMENCE

CLEMENCE Then sir...you have a country in turmoil...each Baron out for himself...(leaning toward them)...in a word, Anarchy!

LEORIC (off camera) Then God protect you...sir.

ON LEORIC

LEORICI wonder that you ride alone---with the King's future in your hands.

BACK ON CLEMENCE AND ROSEANNA

CLEMENCE To the world I am a mere chaplain---(animated) trotting about on the Church's business. (chuckles) And nobody's much interested in that. Ah! But what of the future? (raises goblet to Roseanna) Tonight we have wine...and beauty. To Roseanna....the perfect flower of English womanhood. (Hekisses her by her right ear...)

ON TRISTAN AND THE BROTHER

The Brother restrains Tristan, whose hand is clinched in a fist, ready to hit Clemence.

INT. DINING ROOM - SOME TIME LATER

Roseanna holds a candle and walks slowly through the area. She comes up to Clemence who still sits at the empty table.

ROSEANNA I brought you a light, sir...for your chamber. Shall I lead the way?

CLEMENCE (lifting goblet) My Lady...you may lead me where you will.(he drinks the last drop of the wine and sets the goblet down) She moves past him to the interior of the house...Clemence smiles and gets up to follow her. Roseanna stops in a hallway and Clemence comes up close to her and grabs her around the waist. HE then plants kisses on her neck and lips...and she responds in turn. (hinge squeaking) They stop and look. Clemence puts a finger to her wet lips. He then takes the light and goes to his bed chamber...alone. Roseanna slightly smiles, touching her cheek.

CAMERA PANS LEFT AND UPWARD...to reveal the middle brother watching all of this...then retreating to his own room.

EXT. THE MANOR COURTYARD - NEXT DAY

Animals are bleating...as in CLOSEUP we see a gloved hand put a rather expensive looking ring on the right index finger. It is Clemence...who is being attended by Isobel and Mariet. Clemence mounts his horse.

MED. CLOSE on Roseanna at the door.

On his mount...Clemence kisses a two fingers and throws them symbolically at Roseanna. He looks to Leoric.

CLEMENCE Farewell, then Cousin...may your beans be plentiful and your oates free of tares.

ON LEORIC...THEN OFF as he rides off.

LEORIC Godspeed, sir.

They all watch as he goes off down the road.

CLOSE ON TRISTAN AND MIDDLE BROTHER

MIDDLE BROTHER Forget him, brother. He is gone now.

Without a word, Tristan turns and goes back into the house. Leoric is standing behind them.

LEORIC God forgive me, for being glad, to be rid of a guest.

MIDDLE BROTHER Perhaps he is right, father. We should all take the cowl. (Leoric glares at himand he too goes inside). Though I wish he would choke on his next "Fine Dinner!"

He too turns and walks past Roseanna into the house. He hesitates momentarily glares at her and then goes in. She looks on down the road where Clemence is going. Her POV as we see the horse and rider disappear out of view.

EXT. THE ROAD - SAME DAY

The man who peered in the window the night before, is the same beggar or tramp who watched Clemence ride down the same road to the manor...is now chomping down on wild berries. HE stops hearing the oncoming clopping of horse hooves. It is Clemence on his horse. The rustling of leaves, causes him to stop his horse to investigate. Clemence turns around to look behind him. Then turns back to see a cross marking a fork in the road...Clemence takes the left fork

EXT. WOODS/FLOWING STREAM - LATE AFTERNOON

The stream flows as we PAN UP to a fire and the beggar is cooking something and cutting pieces of it with a jewel studded dagger.

CUT TO: EXT. THE GATES AT SAINT PETER AND PAUL ABBEY - NIGHT

It is dark as the cumbersome doors slowly swing open. Two horseman arrive...it is LEORIC and his son, MERIET. They stop at the Church steps and Mariet dismounts...takes his hood down and looks at his father. Leoric does not smile as he looks down upon his son. A monk takes the boy's horse as CADFAEL rushes down the steps to meet them. The boy says nothing as he looks to his father. It is also raining. ON CADFAEL AND THE BOY

CADFAEL Sir, will you come in the dry, and take some supper?

ON LEORIC

LEORIC I have sent word to Father Abbot...my son is resolved to become a monk.

Cadfael looks to the boy, who hasn't taken his eyes off his father.

ON LEORIC as he turns the horse and rides out of the monastry court yard. Cadfael grabs the boy's arm and they go to dryer quarters.

INT. THE ABBEY PRAYER CHAMBERS

All the Monks are seated against one wall. FATHER ABBOT is at the head...seated. The boy is prone before all of them.

FATHER ABBOT What is your prayer, my son?

MERIET Father, to enter the cloistered life and serve God.

FATHER ABBOT The life you seek is a hard one. Are you ready to accept that hardship, to obey and bear ignominy for the love of Christ?

MERIET Yes, for the grace of God.

FATHER ABBOT Stand. (the boy complies) Are you freeborn, in good health and free from incurable disease?

MERIET Yes, by the grace of God.

ON FATHER ABBOT

FATHER ABBOT Are you free from debts and irregularities?

ON MERIET

MERIET Yes, by the grace of God.

ON FATHER ABBOT

FATHER ABBOT Are you bound, by promise of marriage.

ON MERIET

MERIET No, by the grace of God.

CLOSE ON ABBOT

FATHER ABBOT Then your prayer is answered. (ON MERIET) For those like you, who come to the order in mature years... (BACK ON ABBOT) A ful ltwelve months probationary is customary.

MERIET KNEELS

MERIET Father, is that needful? Can not the time be cut short? I desire with all my heart to have the fullness of my committment, and be at peace.

ON FATHER ABBOT

FATHER ABBOT Do not strain after perfection. It would be made plain if you are ready earlier. LEANS TO HIM I do not exaggerate, when I say the life you seek is a hard one. Your nights here will be spent more in prayer, than in sleep. Your meals will be eaten insilence...and your eyes spoilt in study...you will toil in the fields like a serf and then spend even more hours singing yourself hoarse to the Glory of God. (ON MERIET) That is the fullness of your committment.

MERIET I shall not be found wanting...Father.I promise. (HE kisses the ring on FatherAbbot's right hand)

CUT TO: INT. THE MONK'S SLEEPING QUARTERS

A few are snoring as CAMERA PANS RIGHT passed the columns and rows of bunks and stops on a young man. The young man is MERIET

MERIET (screaming) NO! (CAMERA PANS as monk after monk awakens) No! Dear Mother of Christ...No!

CADFAEL awakens and gets up to quickly light a candle.

MERIET (continues screaming) Help me! (ON MERIET NOW) No! Dear Mother of Christ...no! (Cadfael rushes with candle to where the young man lay) No! Forgive me! Please!!! Help me!!! No!!! Forgive me!!!

Cadfael and the Brothers look on, as Mariet grabs his left wrist. BROTHER JEROME pulls his arms free of his tunic and goes for him...but Cadfael quickly grabs him.

CADFAEL No! Brother...Brother...Brother!

Mariet continues on and on with the same screaming words. Cadfael pushes past Jerome and goes to the boy slowly. He takes the young man by the shoulder...startling him.

CADFAEL Easy! Easy! Easy. (The boy sobs) Easy.

CLOSE ON ONE OF THE BROTHER...THEN BACK ON CADFAEL AND MERIET

Cadfael gently lays him back down on the cot.

CADFAEL Let's go back to sleep.

ROBERT Get back to sleep! This is not some fairground booth! Back to bed...all of you! (Cadfael grabs the candle)

OSWIN Is it...Is it demons, Brother Cadfael?

Cadfael takes Oswin by the arm and they go off. Prior Robert stands glumly over the young man.

ROBERT If it is...they shall be exorcized.

Mariet is now resting comfortably.

INT. THE MEETING ROOM IN THE ABBEY

All monks, the Father Abbot, Prior Robert are seated...and Mariet lies prone before the Father Abbot.

ROBERT Father Abbot...if we accept the fact,that being asleep, this was not a willfulact at self-display...(CAMERA MOVES IN) then it issues instead from a deeply troubled spirit...which we must help to concentrate and purify.

FATHER ABBOT You suggest some mortification of the flesh...Prior Robert?

JEROME Father? Which one of us has not taken ease from hard labor..or a diet of bread and water...or the lash?

CLOSE ON MERIET/CLOSE ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL And which one of us, Father, has never had one ill night and broken it with nightmares?

ON FATHER ABBOT

CADFAEL (off camera) Once is but once. (BACK ON CADFAEL) We have none of us come to harm from his disturbance.

ON FATHER ABBOT TO MERIET

FATHER ABBOT It seems you have a friend, in BrotherCadfael. (Mariet looks up) Deserve it!

PAN ACROSS SITTING MONKS A BALD HEADED MONK rushes into the chamber.

BALD MONK Forgive me, Father Abbot...a visitor!

CLOSE ON VISITOR

ELOARD My name is Eloard. I am Canon to the Bishop of Winchester. (he moves around the table) I have a mystery to solve...Brother Meriet. Do you know a man by the name of Peter Clemence..the Bishop's Chaplain?

CLOSE ON MERIET

MERIET I tended his horse at my father's house.

BACK ON ELOARD

ELOARD Your father says as much. I have been to Ashby Manor and questioned all there.You...are my last hope.

ON MERIET

MERIET Sir?

ELOARD MOVES TO MERIET'S RIGHT

ELOARD The morning of his departure. (CIRCLING HIM) You saw Master Clemence ride off? (MERIET TURNS WITH HIM)

MERIET Yes Sir.

ELOARD (off camera) And then you saw him no more?

Meriet by now is facing CAMERA.

MERIET We none of us rode with him. He said he knew the track.

ELOARD (still off camera) Did he say where he was bound...and for what purpose?

MERIET MAKES A COMPLETE CIRCLE

MERIET To Chester...on the King's business....a mission of diplomacy.

ELOARD IN VIEW WHERE HE BEGAN. ABBOT RADALPHUS IS SEEN BETWEEN THEM.

ELOARD A mission of the highest import, Brother...but a mission that was not completed. ...for Master Clemence has vanished! Sergeant Warden? (Warden enters from behind Meriet). You say you tended Master Clemences horse...what was it like?

ON MERIET

MERIET A fine beast. Not above three years old and mettlesome.

ELOARD TO WARDEN

ELOARD Sergeant? I wonder if you have found it yet?

O.T.S.SHOT OF ELOARD...MERIET...WARDEN IN BKGRND.

WARDEN We shall, my Lord, I promise.

ON ELOARD

ELOARD It troubles me, Brother Meriet...that Peter Clemence vanishes and you are siezed by sudden and holy vocation for the safety of the cloistered life. What brings you here?

ON MERIET

MERIET For some young men, sir, the world falls short. They seek a higher and less selfish life within these walls.

ON ELOARD

ELOARD Quite so. Be sure you stay within these walls, Brother...so that I may speak with you again. That is all for the present.

ELOARD TURNS AND GOES TO WHERE FATHER ABBOT IS STANDING. MERIET MAKES A SLIGHT BOW AND LEAVES. MEDIUM TWO SHOT OF ELOARD AND FATHER ABBOT WHO IS SEATED.

ELOARD You seemed shocked, Father Abbot...but I trust you will not prove to be harboring a murderer. Sergeant Warden? (ON WARDEN WHOMOVES TOWARD THEM) I must leave this in your hands now. (ON ELOARD/ABBOT) While I press onto Chester and secure what can be secured...Pray for my safety, Father...and you (TO WARDEN)...be aware that Peter Clemence is one of our most able young men...a great favorite of my Lord Bishop and of the King himself. It is noted...he is lost in your county.

ON WARDEN

WARDEN My Lord. (HE TURNS AND LEAVES BY THE DOOR HE CAME IN)

INT. LIGHTED STAIRCASE PANNING DOWN

we HEAR BELLS TOLLING and Meriet is deep in thought. A hand comes to rest on his shoulder. It is Cadfael. -

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL Best to get to bed. We shall be in here soon enough.

MERIET Yes, Brother. (He gets up to go but Cadfael puts a firm hand on his shoulder).

CADFAEL And....I have learned of Canon Eluard's purpose here...If you have need of help...at any time.....

MERIET I thank you, Brother...I need help from no man.

Meriet crosses in front of Cadfael...goes off camera.

CUT TO: INT. SLEEPING CHAMBERS - NIGHT

The Monks, Cadfael, Jerome et al are standing in front of the bunk of Meriet...who is having another nightmare.

MERIET (dreaming) Go! Go! Trust me! Is it the Devil in you? (He rises straight up).

The monks whisper...."Is it the Devil?"

MERIET (continuing) Barbary? Barbary? (he begins to whistle)

OSWIN comes around behind Jerome and Cadfael.

OSWIN (frightened) Barbary? He called Barbary.

CADFAEL Oswin! I did hear him. (Oswin crosses himself)

OSWIN Then he whistled! That's how the Devil's summoned up, Brother Cadfael...by whistling.Can he be the Devil's Novice?

CADFAEL (irritated) Oswin!

JEROME Do not dismiss, Brother Oswin's fearsso lightly...nor the power of Evil! Measures must be taken!

CADFAEL To ensure peace of life, maybe Brother Merrit should be segregated for a while.

OSWIN Brother Cadfael! If he is set apart with no one to watch or hear him, who knows what will happen? The Devil will thrive unchallenged...he could bring the roof down upon us...or consume the Abbey in fire!

CADFAEL QUICKLY TAKES OSWIN BY THE ARM AND LEADS HIM AWAY FROM THE OTHERS. TALKING AS THEY GO.....

CADFAEL Oswin? When you entered these walls you renounced the World...not your senses!

OSWIN But Brother! I think he has a talisman from his demon.

THE OTHER MONKS ARE LOOKING TOWARD THEM NOW.

OSWIN (continues) He hides it in his cell. I have seen him do so...I swear! A charm. (ON THEMONKS) And at night, he takes it to his bed.

JEROME PUSHES FORWARD.

JEROME You have seen this? Some alien thing...hidden away?

ON CADFAEL, JEROME AND OSWIN.

OSWIN Not clearly, Brother. But it is there.

JEROME LOOKS DIRECTLY AT CADFAEL

JEROME That is not according to the Rule!

CADFAEL TURNS AROUND.

CADFAEL Brother Meriet!

HE THEN GOES TO THE YOUNG MONK WHO IS OUT OF HIS BED. CADFAEL GOES PAST THE BROTHERS SURROUNDING HIM.

CADFAEL (continues)Are you well?

MERIET Perfectly well...I think. What has happened here?

ONE OF THE MONKS IS SEARCHING IN MERIET'S BED.

CADFAEL (off camera) Nothing! Just another bad dreamthat's all. You should rest.

JEROME IS THE MONK DOING THE SEARCH AND COMES UP WITH THE TALISMAN THAT OSWIN HAD MENTIONED. CLOSE IN ON IT AS HE LIFTS IT UP FOR VIEWING. MERIET SEES WHAT IS GOING ON.

MERIET (angered)Leave my things alone!

HE TURNS TO JEROME AND GOES TOWARD HIM.

CADFAEL Wait!

HE CONFRONTS JEROME PUTTING HIS HAND OUT TO HIM.

MERIET Give that to me! It is mine!

JEROME You have foresworn "mine" Brother...or do you already forget?

MERIET (irritated) Give it to me!

JEROME To bring anything personal here, is to flout the rules! But to cherish this (HOLDS UP TALISMAN) in your bed, is close to fornication! (MERIET GRABSFOR IT, BUT JEROME IS QUICKER) Do you so much as know the meaning of the vows that you wish to take?

JEROME GETS INTO HIS FACE.

JEROME (continues) Obedience! Stability! Chastity! Is there no grace in you at all?

MERIET Grace enough to refrain from stealing. Give me what is mine!

JEROME GRITS HIS TEETH.

JEROME Stand aside...Brother! If you do not, you will never take those vows.I will have you cast out!

MERIET IS RELUCTANT, BUT STANDS ASIDE TO LET JEROME PASS. (ON CADFAEL, AS JEROME GOES BY HIM) AND THEN STOPS MIDWAY OF THE ROOM. HE TURNS TO THE OTHER MONKS. HE WALKS OVER TO THE CANDLE AND PUTS THE TALISMAN TO THE FLAME. MERIET RUSHES AND GRABS HIM BY THE THROAT. HE PUSHES JEROME UP AGAINST A PILLAR AND COMMENCES TO BASH HIS HEAD AGAINST WHILE CHOKING HIM AT THE SAME TIME...CADFAEL INTERVENES AND GRABS MERIET FROM BEHIND IN AN ARM LOCK. JEROME SLIDES TO THE FLOOR ...UNCONSCIENCE. CADFAEL AND MERIET FALL TO THE FLOOR ABOUT THE SAME TIME....

CADFAEL For shame boy! (Meriet grunting)

DISSOLVE TO: INT. OF ABBEY - SAME NIGHT MERIET IS IN A HOOD...ANOTHER BROTHER IS BEHIND HIM. IT IS CLEAR THAT MERIET IS GOING TO BE WHIPPED. HE WEARS ONLY A HOOD...AS THE BROTHER TAKES THE LASH TO HIM CAUSING HIM TO GRUNT WITH PAIN. IN A CIRCULAR MOTION...WE SEE THE OTHER BROTHERS WEARING THEIR DRESS AND ALSO HOODED SURROUND THE POST AND WATCH AS THE LASH WHIPS HOME ON MERIET'S BACK. MEDIUM SHOT WITH THE BROTHER WINDING UP THE LASH AND WE SEE THE RED STRIPES CRISS-CROSSED ON MERIET'S BACK. AS THE CAMERA COMES AROUND...THE WHIPPER TAKES ANOTHER STROKE ON MERIET'S BACK. WE FALL ON CADFAEL AND MOVE IN CLOSE...WATCHING HIM GRIMACE AT EACH STROKE OF THE LASH.

INT. A ROOM OR CELL IN THE ABBEY

MERIET LIES ON HIS STOMACH...AGONIZING FROM THE WOUNDS OF THE LASH ON HIS BACK. THE DOOR OPENS AND CADFAEL COMES IN WITH A CANDLE AND SETS IT DOWN NEARBY...HE SIGHS.......

CADFAELYou are a fool...boy! You could have spared yourself all this.

MERIET I have had worse...My father could teach them something here.

CADFAEL PUTS A BAG DOWN AND GETS SOMETHING OUT OF IT.

CADFAEL Well...He failed to teach you much sense! Whatever...else.

CADFAEL DABS AT THE WOUNDS ON THE YOUNG MAN'S BACK.

CADFAEL (Continues) Do you want me to salve it for you?

HE TOUCHES THE WOUNDS CAUSING MERIET TO GASP IN PAIN.

CADFAEL (continuing) This is nothing! You could have been excommunicated. Assault on your priest and confessor? Though I won't deny I haven't wanted to strangle Brother Jerome at times myself.

THROUGH THE PAIN.

MERIET He had no right to steal from me!

CADFAEL (irritated) He had every right to confiscate what is forbidden here!

MERIET TURNS TO HIM.

MERIET Nor did he have the right to destroy it before my eyes...or speak of fornication! Where is the evil in a lock of hair? A keepsake?

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL Did the red haired girl...spurn you?

BACK ON MERIET

MERIET She is spoken for.

CADFAEL (off camera)Then find another.

MEDIUM TWO SHOT OF THEM BOTH

CADFAEL (continues)You are young and there are many...be off! (LEANING TO HIS EAR) Either that...or bend that stiff neck.

ON MERIET TURNING TO LOOK AT CADFAEL THEN TURNS BACK NOW ON CADFAEL...

CADFAEL I tell you boy! I have never known a novice to pursue his vocation with so much passion...and so little joy.What is tearing at your soul?

ON MERIET

MERIET Why are any of us? (TURNING TO CADFAEL) Why are you?

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL I was a soldier. In the great crusade in Jerusalem... I killed many in the name of God... now... I grow herbs and brew remedies, to heal men after all those years of injuring them.What could be more fitting?

ONMERIET

MERIET A tonment then?

MED.TWO SHOT OF THEM BOTH

CADFAEL I am so much older than you.. But of all the vows I took up on entering here...OBEDIENCE...is still the hardest.

CUTTO: INT. ANOTHER PART OF THE ABBEY

FATHER RADALPHUS TURNS TO PRIOR ROBERT AND CADFAEL.

RADALPHUS Unrequited love?

CADFAEL He is passionate! (ONCADFAEL) The Lady chose his brother.

ON RADALPHUS

RADALPHUS And for that he shuts himself away?

CADFAEL He will admit no other reason.

ON PRIOR ROBERT

ROBERT Well, better that than murder.

ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL You mean...given Canon Eluard's suspcions?

ON ROBERT

ROBERT Given credence...surely...by his savage attack on Brother Jerome.

ON THE ABBOT (not speaking yet)

CADFAEL No! No! No! No! Meriet would have stopped!

ROBERT Would he? I think, Brother Cadfael, you see yourself in that youngman... That doesn't mean you can read his heart!

ON CADFAEL (KNODDING, PURSING HIS LIPS)

CADFAEL No. But I think it wise, Father, that someone should see his parent, Leoric Ashby.

ON ROBERT

ROBERT For what reason?

BACK ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL Because it is not yet too late, for him to haul the boy back from vows he is manifestly...ill-suited.

ON THE ABBOT

RADALPHUS A sensible thought... (he walks to the right, taking a seat at the desk/table?) This is not a hide-away for love sick youth, Brother Prior.

MED. TWO SHOT ON CADFAEL AND ROBERT

ROBERT No,Father.

CADFAEL Nor violent youth...Could I suggest Father, that while Meriet's future is being decide, he serve out his penance at St.Giles?

ROBERT The Lazar House?

CADFAEL His removal from the Abbey, will calm the other Novices. (ON THE ABBOT) And Brother Oswin who is due to take another turn there, will welcome the help... I'm sure.

ROBERT Perhaps your right. Ministrying to those worse blessed than himself is possibly the best medicine of all for Brother Meriet.

ON THE ABBOT

RADALPHUS Arrange it.

ON CADFAEL AND ROBERT

CADFAEL Father.

THEY BEGIN TO LEAVE.

RADALPHUS (offcamera) How is... Brother Jerome?

THEY STOP AND TURN AT THE DOOR.

CADFAEL Oh... his throat will mend. But a week or two will pass before his voice returns.

RADALPHUS REACTS WITH A SHRUG. HE PICKS UP A QUILL PEN.

RADALPHUS Then even in the worse deed... there is some good. (HE SLIGHTLY SMILES and KNODS)

BACK ON CADFAEL AND ROBERT; ROBERT OPENS THE DOOR AND LEAVES.

CADFAEL Yes, Father.

CUT TO: EXT: THE ABBEY COURTYARD - DAY

Cadfael, Meriet and Oswin come through the Abbey door and descend the steps to the courtyard. SERGEANT WARDEN comes from talking with two monks near some scaffolding.

WARDEN Brother Cadfael.Where are you bound?

FULL SHOT ON CADFAEL

CADFAEL I? To Ashby Manor... Brother Merietto St.Giles.

WARDEN For what purpose?

CADFAEL Father Abbott's purpose.

WARDEN BLOCKS HIM AND MERIET FROM THE HORSE THAT IS WAITING. CADFAEL AND WARDEN STAND FACE TO FACE.

CADFAEL Do you seek my help, Sergeant?

A HORSE WHINNIES... THEY ALL TURN TO THE OUTSIDE GATE.. A BALD MAN ENTERS THE COMPOUND LEADING A HORSE... HE IS......

(ON MERIET)

MERIET Barbary.

CADFAEL (Aghast) That... is Barbary!

OSWIN A horse.

MERIET MOVES FROM BEHIND THEM TO WATCH THE BALD MAN TAKE THE HORSE... BARBARY TO THE STABLE. THE MAN IS ONE OF THE SERGEANT'S MEN.

MAN I thought it best bring it here, Sir.

WARDEN TURNS TO THE MONKS.

WARDEN Well... Does it belong to Peter Clemence?

TWO SHOT OF CADFAEL AND MERIET

MERIET Yes. This is his. I never before had its like to care for... such a horse as Barbary. Where'd you find him?

ON CADFAEL, THE MAN AND WARDEN

MAN Twenty miles to the North.

CADFAEL MOVES BETWEEN THE MAN AND WARDEN TO THE HORSE.

WARDEN Twenty miles?

MAN In the peat bogs by Whitbatch.

WARDEN Clemence robbed and murdered then.

ON MERIET. WHO LOOKS CONCERNED.

CADFAEL (off camera) Scarcely robbed.(on camera) Look at all the silver on his harness! What robber worth his salt would lose a piece like this?

WARDEN The rider himself could hardly be worth more. (HE MOVES TO MERIET) And desperate men don't think.. besides... there's other predators.

ON OSWIN... A LOOK OF DESPERATION

CADFAEL (off camera) Was there a noseband? (on Camera) To match the saddlecloth?

MED TWO SHOT CLOSE ON MERIET AND WARDEN

MERIET Yes... Green velvet. Man and horse were all green velvet from head to toe.

ON CADFAEL AND MAN

CADFAEL There is none here now.

ON MERIET AND WARDEN

WARDEN (to the man) Get that horse cleaned up! And you.. boy, don't stray from the lepers.

EXT. SAINT GILES LEPER COLONY -DAY

LONG SHOT OF CADFAEL, MERIET AND OSWIN

OSWIN Welcome to St.Giles. I'll let them know you're joining us.

OSWIN MOVES AHEAD TOWARD THE HUT.

MERIET How many lepers are there?

CADFAEL Usually about five and twenty. (ON CADFAEL) Some move from Lazar House to Lazar House. Some arrive too ill to go any further. Death thins the numbers... but the gaps are filled. ..Aren't you afraid of infection?

ON MERIET

MERIET No.

SOME LEPER CHILDREN COME INTO THE YARD PLAYING: THEN RUN ACK INTO THE GRAVEYARD AREA. OSWIN COMES FROM THE HOUSE FOLLOWED BY AN ADULT LEPER.

OSWIN A happy chance for your arrival, Brother Meriet --it's a holiday. On four days a year we're allowed a foray.. by discretion of the Crown, to gather firewood in the long forest. So,being able bodied you may push a cart.

Oswin leads Meriet into the hut... some of the lepers follow him in, as Cadfael takes the ass and leads back down the trail to the Abbey. SOUND: CHORUS/ LEAD SINGER SING OFF CAMERA.

 

 

Jump to Act 2...


Written by SteveC