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A Cruel Land--Nuevo Mexico
by Mike Eskew (mikeeskew@adelphia.net)

Rated: G   Genre: Drama   User Review:
NOT YET
RATED

Manuel Armijo, the last Mexican Governor of Nuevo Mexico, knows he is riding the whirlwind. In Santa Fe, Nuevo Mexico, the threat of war hangs over everything in 1846. The Mexican state is in the last stages of being overrun by the Indian tribes, and an American army is preparing to march on them. If he does nothing, he will be killed by the Indian insurrection. If he opposes the Americans, they might kill him and they would take all his possessions. If he runs, he would be branded a traitor to Mexico. He knows that to save himself and his people he may have to embrace the unlikeliest of allies: the invading American army. He betrothed his youngest daughter, Alejandra, to a Mexican captain, Enrique, a good man from El Paso, but he is older and economically stable. But then the Americans come. Tom, a young man, sees Alejandra and is smitten by her. She too sees him but is not impressed at first. Set in the wilds of New Mexico and the beautiful towns of early Chihuahua, Mexico, this historically accurate drama draws to a close after the climatic battle between the 1000-man American army and the 5000-man Mexican army.


This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.



FADE IN:

EXT. A WIDE, COLD SOUTHWESTERN SKY - DAY
                                                            
PAN from the expanse of the winding Rio Grande River toward
the dry hill country miles to the east. The sky is scary
and cloudy with its outriders of billowing white snow
squalls.

Spring 1846
in the northern Mexican territory of
Nuevo Mexico
                                                            
 
EXT. ON A WINDY HILL – LATER - DAY
                                                            
Five mounted Apache Indians sit on their horses looking down
the hill toward a dusty trail.

                                                            
 
EXT. THE TRAIL BELOW - DAY
                                                            
A coach with two drivers and two armed outriders hurries
across the desert floor followed by a long tail of dust.
Four young girls in plaid skirts are talking and chattering
inside the coach as it bounces.
                                                            
 
INT. EXT. BESIDE A CLIFF - DAY
                                                            
Several Apache Indians are watching the stage below that is
coming towards them. One of the Indians points away toward
where the wagon is going. Quietly the men lead their horses
down the hill below the cliff wall and disappear.
                                                            
 
EXT. A CLOUDY SKY AND SNOW FLURRIES ARE GENTLY FALLI - DAY
                                                            
Enrique, a Mexican Army officer, sits behind a bush, his
binoculars in his hand and a very un-army sombrero lying on
the ground next to him. Another man, an older caballero, is
behind and below him holding the reins of three horses,
including Enrique’s big white stallion–another is a pack
mule.

As he watches another caballero comes riding up toward them.
The man stops. Enrique stands and looks up.
                                                            

2.

                       LUIS
Han salido.
                                                            
Enrique seriously nods his head.
                                                            
 
EXT. DOWN IN THE GORGE - DAY
                                                            
The older caballero is crying as he loads the body of one of
the young girls. The blanket covers all but her feet and a
long plaid skirt. Two other bodies are on the mule.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
And the other?
                                                            
The Second Caballero motions up the pass. He says nothing.
                                                            
                       LUIS
They killed her when they saw us I
think.
                                                            
Enrique nods. He looks at the overturned stage and the two
graves for two of the men.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
El General must know.
                                                            
(CLOSEUP: Enrique’s face. He is serious and sad as he looks
at the still crying man.)
                                                            
                       OLD MAN
Niña.
                                                            
Enrique closes his eyes and cries too.
                                                            
 
EXT. LATER - DAY
                                                            
Through the sage and piñon trees the three men and four pack
mules loaded with the bodies of the girls are riding
quickly, anxiously.

Enrique stretches in the saddle, looking at the rise they
are approaching. Soon they make the top of the slope and
they stop. The horses are breathing loudly.
                                                            
                       LUIS
They are in the pass, jefe. I am
sure of it.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
Yes.
                                                            

3.

Enrique looks backwards as the cold, hard wind whips around
them.
                                                            
 
EXT. LATER - DAY
                                                            
Over the shoulder of Enrique in the distance is a small dust
cloud far off.

Enrique looks to his left and then to his right toward the
hills and the long plain to the west.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
It’s a large party, but I don’t
think Apache. Too much dust.
                                                            
                       LUIS
Hope you’re right, jefe. Or we’re
three dead Mexicans
                                                            
Enrique nods as he studies the approaching men.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
They are traders, Luis, Yanques.
                                                            
                       LUIS
Yanques. From Tejas?
                                                            
                       MANUEL
No. norteamericanos. I know
their leader. He is from Santo
Luis.
                                                            
 
EXT. IN THE PASS LATER - DAY
                                                            
A large party of Americans--a dozen--with Enrique’s band are
riding through the silent pass. The Americans are looking
toward the canyon walls.

(Camera Angle: Starts from afar with an outline of the
party and pans from the end of the train of horses and pack
mules to the head of the column.)

Enrique and Luis are with the leaders and the old man is
behind. He is leading four mules now, where the bodies of
each girl now is draped over her own separate mule.)

(CLOSEUP: Enrique) He is looking at the leader of the band,
Samuel Owens. The man has thick siedburns and is rough
looking. He carries a five-shot Navy long pistol in its
scabbard and a long knife and its sheath on his right belt.

4.



Two outriders are approaching. One of them is a young man,
and the other is a grizzled mountain man. They rein in
their horses in front of Enrique and Owens.
                                                            
                       TOM
There was some Indians all right.
                                                            
Tom looks at Enrique and then at the other rider, Ben.
                                                            
                       TOM
But they’re gone now.
                                                            
Owens just shakes his head, and then Tom turns his horse
toward the back of the train. Enrique watches him as the
young man departs.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
Who’s he?
                                                            
                       OWENS
Tommy. He’s the son of one of my
financiers, the Caruthers’ boy. He
likes to be called Tom though.
                                                            
Owens looks at Enrique and notices that Enrique is not
smiling but is serious.
                                                            
                       OWENS
You’ll like him. He speaks
Spanish.
                                                            
Owens turns and looks straight ahead down the pass.
                                                            
                       OWENS
The first ranch we come to is the
Martinez place. You said one of
the girls is his daughter?
                                                            
Enrique shakes his head yes.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
I don’t know her name.
                                                            
                       OWENS
Maricruz. She was sweet.

You guys have got to help these
people. Get some men up here to
track those bastards down and kill
‘em.
                                                            

5.

                       ENRIQUE
It’s not so easy. But I’ll tell
the governor. Maybe he can get
help from Mexico City.
                                                            
                       OWENS
Get something. At least for their
sake.
                                                            
He points toward the rear of their train.

(CAMERA ANGLE: Pans away from them as they ride down away
from the pass and into a broad river valley–the Rio Grande.
                                                            
 
EXT. OUTSIDE THE PALACE OF THE GOVERNORS IN SANTA FE - NIGHT
                                                            
DARK SCREEN OF A WINTER NIGHT SKY)

(Overlay) Santa Fe, the Palace of the Governors

Two inches of snow are on the ground. Enrique’s magnificent
white horse is tethered outside as he enters.

(CAMERA ANGLE: Follows Enrique inside and in to the inviting
warm lights on the cold night.) He walks into a room where
a man is sitting at a desk. Enrique pauses and then the man
turns toward him.
                                                            
 
INT. THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE - NIGHT
                                                            
(Full FACE angle of Manuel Armijo, the Governor of Nuevo
México and general of its army.) He is listening as Enrique
speaks.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
We did not have enough men. We
never have enough.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
You tried.
                                                            
Enrique attempts to speak, but he cannot.

Manuel watches as Enrique turns his face away and down.
Manuel stands up and comes to Enrique.
                                                            

6.

                       MANUEL
Thank you. Get some rest now.
                                                            
Manuel pauses, intentionally getting the eye of Enrique.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
Your betrothal to my daughter is
still on. We cannot allow one
tragedy to cause another.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
But-
                                                            
He looks at Enrique questioningly.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
There is no but unless you don’t
want to marry.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
I love her, Generál.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
Good then. We shall announce it
on the weekend at the baile.

(Louder) Don Vigil.
                                                            
The door opens and enters the middle-aged Alcalde of Santa
Fe.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
Capitàn Villacana will be staying
with us a while before he returns
to El Paso del Norte.

It...(he pauses) It will be all
right, Enrique.
                                                            
(Camera Angle: pans back from Manuel’s face to Enrique’s and
then back) Then Enrique turns and leaves with the Alcalde.
At first the expression of Manuel’s face is consoling, but
as soon as they leave, his face turns serious again.

When Enrique leaves, Manuel goes to the chair by the small
fireplace. He sits and leans forward, warming his hands.

(Sound: The shudder of the window glass as it is pushed by
the cold wind outside.)

7.


He hears the sound and then goes to the window. It is icy
as he secures it with the latch. Manuel then shakes his
head in thought and then goes to the writing desk. He sits,
thinking. He looks at the paper he had been writing on. He
grabs it and sets it aside. Then he pulls a blank sheet of
paper from the desk drawer. He grabs the quill and dips it
into the black ink well and begins writing.

(CAMERA ANGLE: Starts over his left shoulder and goes to the
writing. The words are in Spanish but the speaking is in
English).

(LETTER: with subscript in English over Spanish)
The war with the Apache and Navajo is slowly consuming us.
If we do not get substantial help soon, the state will be
overrun by the Indian alliance of the Pueblo, Navajo and
Apaches. If the Spaniards unite with the Indians, we shall
not survive to the summer....

FADE TO DARKNESS but the wind continues to howl and beat
against the window as the screen blackens)


                                                            
 
EXT. A BEAUTIFUL SNOW SCENE WITH THE SANGRE DEL CRIS - DAY
                                                            
(PAN TO A NICE WINTER COURTYARD)

A light snowfall has left the area dressed in its finery
although the day is clear and cloudless. The courtyard
fountain sits useless, covered with the white offering of
the crisp winter day
                                                            
 
INT. THE BEDROOM OF A YOUNG GIRL - DAY
                                                            
CLOSEUP: of a young girl, 16 year old Alejandra, as she
looks out the window. But she is not smiling nor in awe;
she seems frightened and in pain.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
I knew Rosa, mama. She, she…she
was the sweetest.
                                                            
Alejandra turns and the camera angles to her mother. Mama
is sitting at a bench busily sewing the hep of a skirt.
                                                            

8.

                       MAMA
Tragedy is everywhere these days,
child. But you must put it out of
your mind.
                                                            
Alejandra comes to her mother and sits beside her, still
crying.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
      (crying)
I know, mama. But on my
quinciòiera and the day of my
betrothal. Oooh, mama.
                                                            
Mama consoles the young girl.
                                                            
                       MAMA
It’s all right, child. Your ther
says you must continue.
                                                            
She looks at her daughter directly in the eyes.
                                                            
                       MAMA
You love him, don’t you?
                                                            
Alenajdra pauses and looks down.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
I don’t know. Oh, I think so,
mama. But I’m not sure. He’s so
old.
                                                            
                       MAMA
It’s okay, mija. I know he
respects you, and he loves you,
and that is what is important
these days.
                                                            
Alejandra goes to the window and looks through the frosty
glass to the courtyard below. There Manuel is preparing his
horse.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
I wish papa wouldn’t go, not
today.
                                                            
                       MAMA
But he-
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
I know, Mama. I just wish.
                                                            

9.

MAMA comes behind her daughter and holds her from behind.
She too looks at Manuel in the snowy courtyard below as he
claps his hands for warmth. Two other men are mounted beside
him, the rancho caballeros.
                                                            
                       MAMA
Hurry. Let’s go say good bye.
                                                            
 
INT. THE WARM KITCHEN OF THE HACIENDA - DAY
                                                            
Alejandra rushes through the warm kitchen and past the
fireplace and out the door. Mama walks slower behind her.
                                                            
 
EXT. IN THE ENTRANCEWAY - DAY
                                                            
Manuel is preparing to mount his horse. But he turns and
holds his arms out to Alejandra.

CLOSEUP: MAMA looks on as Manuel and his daughter embrace.
He pats the young girl’s head and turns to his horse. As he
mounts his horse, she says nothing.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Be safe, papa.
                                                            
He smiles as he settles into the saddle and grabs the reins.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
Always, mija.
                                                            
Then he turns, and then he and the two heavily armed
caballeros ride out the gated courtyard at a brisk trot.

Mama holds her shawl up to her mouth as she looks at the
departing men. She quietly watches him disappear down the
road, and then she gazes down.

(Alejandra’s voice from behind)
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Are you worried again, Mama? He
will be back in time for the
fiesta.
                                                            
MAMA, Sra. Armijo, still watches Manuel as he and his two
escorts go away and down the hill toward the far town. Then
she turns and looks at her daughter who is disappearing into
the warmth of the kitchen.

10.


Again she looks down the road, a concerned and anxious fixed
stare, but she turns back, a sad but quiet expression on her
face, toward the waiting warmth of the hacienda.
                                                            
 
EXT. THE NARROW BACK STREET OF SANTA FE - DAY
                                                            
A light blanket of snow on the roofs and muddy mush on the
street. Manuel and his two bodyguards are riding down a
narrow street in Santa Fe on the bright, clear morning. At
a narrow alleyway they go right, Manuel leading them. He
stops at a small gate, leans forward and rings the bell.

The bodyguards wait behind him as a young boy comes and
opens the gate. Manuel waves at the two caballeros, and
they and continue down the alleyway.

The gate swings open, and Manuel slowly rides in. The boy
acts as though this is a normal event as he closes the gate.
Manuel steps off his horse as the boy hurries to the reins.
He smiles and rubs the head of the boys affectionately and
then goes into the back door of the flat hacienda.
                                                            
 
INT. THE KITCHEN OF A BUSY LITTLE CANTINA - DAY
                                                            
Manuel sees a portly woman seated on a wooden bench by the
hearth and preparing tortillas and smiles.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
Marta.
                                                            
She nods agreeably as Manuel goes through the kitchen and
into the hallway beyond. He removes his coat and hat as the
lady of the cosina hands him a hot, small tortilla.

(CAMERA follows Manuel as he exits the smoky kitchen and
enters another hallway. To the right is the general cantina
where several men are standing or sitting in the lounge
chairs and talking informally. The cantina women serve them
drinks and talk also.

Manuel sees a Mexican officer, Colonel Archuleta, and nods.
Archuleta acknowledges him and makes a rather disrespectful
half-salute. He turns and is talking with an Indian named
Tomás.

Manuel studies the tall thin Indian, with a pony tail, next
to Archuleta. The Indian has a rough scar on his cheek from
some previous encounter. He and Archuleta whisper to each

11.

other.

Manuel turns left as he eats the tortilla and goes down the
hallway. He comes to a doorway and knocks. It immediately
is opened and he sees the petite form of Doña Maria
Gertrudes Barcelo.

As he closes the door they embrace
                                                            
 
INT. MARIA’S WARM BEDROOM - DAY
                                                            
They are alone together. He is seated in a well-padded
wooden easy chair, a thick Indian blanket over his legs. She
is behind him, standing, rubbing the back of his neck and
his shoulders. His eyes are closed and he is enjoying her
ministrations.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
Who’s the Pueblo? I haven’t seen
him before.
                                                            
                       MARIA
The one with Archuleta? Tomásito.
He’s down from Taos. But
Archuleta is the one I need to
tell you about. He brought
Tomásito in here last night. Told
me his friend is very important
and that I should make sure he has
a good time
                                                            
Manuel laughs quietly.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
And did he?
                                                            
Maria stops. Then she gently slaps the top of his head and
walks away.

She comes in front of him and sits at his feet. She leans
onto the thick blanket over his knees. He gently rubs her
head and hair.
                                                            
                       MARIA
I’m afraid. They are up to no
good.
                                                            
Manuel gently laughs, but a serious laugh.
                                                            

12.

                       MANUEL
They’ve always got their plots and
intrigues, mi Tules.
                                                            
                       MARIA
But this time it’s different.
                                                            
Her expression is truly serious and worried. She quietly
Cries, but he cannot see as she hugs his knees.
                                                            
He leans forward and kisses the top of her head.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
They think the Americans can be
negotiated with. They don’t
realize the Americans are not
interested in beating us but in
conquering us.
                                                            
He leans forward and kisses the top of her head.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
With me—or Mexico—out of the way,
they think they can make their own
country.
                                                            
Maria quietly wipes her tears and then turns and looks at
him.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
And they may be right.
                                                            
                       MARIA
Mi Dios, when will the terrors
stop, Manuel?
                                                            
Manuel sighs and continues stroking her hair and gently
caressing her cheek. He looks into her eyes.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
Soon perhaps. For it can’t go on
the way it is now. Us or the
Indians or the Americans, one will
prevail. But who would be best
for this land?
                                                            
Manuel pauses and looks down and again kisses the top of her
head as he closes his eyes.
                                                            
 

13.

INT. INSIDE THE LARGE CAPITOL BUILDING - DAY
                                                            
It is daytime in the large capital building, and light
streams in from a large window as Manuel and Juan Vigil walk
down the hallway. Manuel’s office in the capital building.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
Are you sure?
                                                            
                       VIGIL
Si. General Herrera fled when
General Paredes entered the city
with his army.
                                                            
Manuel pauses in thought but continues his walk into his
main office. He is agitated as he slaps his gloves on his
side.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
The Centralists are now in
control, Vigil?
                                                            
                       VIGIL
Si. There is more. The American
negotiator Slidell was sent home.
The negotiations are over.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
Herrera was our best hope, Juan.
Paredes will attack the Americanos
in Tejas.
                                                            
Vigil nods in agreement. Manuel and Vigil stand by the
fireplace warming themselves.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
And what do your sources tell you
of their plans, General?
                                                            
Manuel smiles. He turns toward his desk. As he answers, he
looks out the window into the courtyard and sees the
Americans arriving. The young man Tom catches his attention
and he studies him.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
They are planning to take over the
state. This we know. Where they
attack and when, this we still do
not know. But it will be the
bloodiest yet. They intend to
kill us all, Juan.
                                                            

14.

He watches as the two older Americans go toward the front
entrance. Tom is tending the horses outside.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
The norteamericanos are here,
Juan. Let us see if they know
more than we do.
                                                            
 
EXT. OUTSIDE THE GOVERNOR’S PALACE - DAY
                                                            
Outside the governor’s palace, Tom watches Ben and Owens
enter through the doors and into the building. He then
notices the window where Manuel is now shaking the hands of
Owens.

Tom looks toward the door again and at the two uniformed
guards. They are dressed in blue woollen coats with deep
red collars. The black hats reflect the steadiness of the
gaze in their black eyes.

His horse neighs and Tom swallows.
                                                            
                       TOM
Steady, girl.
                                                            
Then he notices a little boy looking up at him. The boy
smiles and Tom smiles back
                                                            
                       BOY
Norteamericano.
                                                            
                       TOM
Si.
                                                            
The boy studies Tom, starting at his boots and then slowly
looking up and up.

Tom smiles and so does the boy.

NOISE: a tapping on a glass window.

Tom turns toward the window and sees Ben there signalling
him to join them. At the same time the door opens and don
Vigil is there looking at him. Tom immediately follows.
                                                            
 
INT. THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE - DAY
                                                            
Owens turns to him as he enters.
                                                            

15.

                       TOM
Tommy, my boy, get on your Sunday
duds. General Armijo has invited
us to a fandango tonight.
                                                            
Tom looks at Manuel and Manuel smiles.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
A baile for my daughter’s
quincinera. She’s older, but we
could not celebrate last year
because she was away being
educated in your Missouri. (He
pauses.).
                                                            
                       OWENS
He speaks Spanish, general.
                                                            
Manuel looks more approvingly at Tom.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
Yes, but no need around her. I
would think she would like to
practice her English.
                                                            
                       OWENS
Well, say something, boy.
                                                            
                       TOM
Thank you, sir, gracias.
                                                            
Manuel smiles as Tom is left in confusion.
                                                            
 
EXT. THE FAR SIDE OF TOWN - DAY
                                                            
Tom and Ben and Owens are riding out from the cluster of low
lying buildings.
                                                            
                       TOM
I don’t know how to dance, boss.
                                                            
                       BEN
Get one of them girls to show you.
                                                            
                       TOM
Girls?
                                                            
                       OWENS
Senoritas as pretty as a spring in
Missouri. And beautiful, beautiful
little women.
                                                            

16.

                       TOM
And my Spanish ain’t that good.
                                                            
                       OWENS
Better than mine.
                                                            
They continued riding, heading toward the outskirts of the
small town. As they pass two men, both Indians, Tom tenses
a little. They are Apache and look at the riders as they
pass.
                                                            
                       BEN
That man’s got a big problem.
                                                            
Owens laughs and nods in agreement. He looks back at the
Apaches. But those men had disappeared behind an adobe
wall.
                                                            
                       BEN
And so do we.
                                                            
Owens nods in agreement.
                                                            
                       OWENS
We’ll live through ours probably.
But he might not.
                                                            
Owens looks toward Tom.
                                                            
                       OWENS
He’s ridin’ the whirlwind, boy. If
he fights, he will die—by us or by
his own people or by those Injuns.
If he runs, he’ll be branded a
coward. Yes, sir, a high plains
whirlwind.
                                                            
 
EXT. THE ARMIJO HACIENDA ON A PATIO OUTSIDE THE KITC - DAY
                                                            
A bright, cool sun is reflecting off the white adobe walls.
In front of the wall is a line where red chilis are drying.
A thin crust of snow is on the ground.

Alejandra is adjusting and inspecting the chilis. She
chooses one and removes it from the line. Then she turns
and enters the hacienda.
                                                            
 

17.

INT. THE LARGE, WARM KITCHEN AREA OF THE HACIENDA - DAY
                                                            
Mama and two others are preparing a big meal.

Alejandra puts the chilis on a small table with a small
grinding bowl and grinding stone on it.
                                                            
                       MAMA
Grind them well, mija. Remember
Papa likes it hot hot.
                                                            
Alejandra prepares the chilis, not paying attention to what
she is doing as she talks. She begins to brush her hair
away from her eyes.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
You think we’ll finish putting the
pretty things from Saint Louis on
the dress…
                                                            
Suddenly Alejandra starts shaking her head violently. She
is in pain.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
      (screAming)
My eyes, my eyes. Chilis.
                                                            
Mama reacts quickly.
                                                            
                       MAMA
      (to a servant)
Get Rut quickly.
                                                            
Mama sets Alejandra down in on a stool as the young girl
writhes in pain.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
So stupid. I rubbed my eyes.
                                                            
A young girl (9 years old) with long brown hair quickly
enters the room with her mother.
                                                            
                       MAMA
Aqui, niña.
                                                            
The little girl sits on a stool next to Alejandra but turns
her back. Quickly Mama takes some strands of the girl’s
long hair and rubs them in Alejandra’s eyes.
                                                            
                       MAMA
The left eye?
                                                            

18.

Alejandra shakes her head yes.
                                                            
                       MAMA
Open. I told you never to play
with the peppers, mija.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
I know.
                                                            
The other helper hands Alejandra a wet towel.
                                                            
                       MAID
Pobrecita.
                                                            
Alejandra is feeling better already as she wipes her eyes.
                                                            
                       MAMA
Upstairs now, and get out the new
dress. But don’t do anything. You
are useless for anything today,
hija.
                                                            
 
EXT. JUST OUTSIDE HE GLASS WINDOWS IN THE COURTYARD - DAY
                                                            
Enrique looks through the windows of the large main room as
the servants are decorating. At the far end is a big
fireplace, at the moment brightly burning, heating the room
from the cold wind blowing off the new snow outside the
window.

He kicks his boots before entering the door. As he comes
in, the workers notice him and Mama comes across the floor
as he takes his long coat off.
                                                            
                       MAMA
Enrique, so glad to see you. But
you did not need to come through
this way. The main door was best.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
I was trying to see Alejandra.
Where is she?
                                                            
                       MAMA
Upstairs, finishing her dress.

(To a servant) Juanita, andale.
                                                            
Juanita quickly leaves the reception hall as Mama draws
Enrique out of the big room and toward a smaller reception

19.

room.

Just after Mama leaves Enrique relaxes in the large den.
There is a bookshelf and a reading chair. He sits down.

Suddenly Alejandra enters the room from another door, but
she is not aware of him. She is wearing the new dress and
goes to a large mirror, but she still does not see him.
There she looks at herself in the mirror. She looks at her
partially exposed breasts, the unfinished cloth not covering
them.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
Muy bonita.
                                                            
She suddenly turns, automatically covering her breasts as
she looks at him.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
      (coyly smiling)
What pertinence, sir.
                                                            
But she is smiling. He stands up to come to her, but she
turns away. Then she turns and runs out the door.
                                                            
 
EXT. IN THE COURTYARD - DAY
                                                            
Enrique and Alejandra are together but just outside a room
filled will people who are preparing for the party. She
sits on the stone bench by the dry fountain and he is
standing, but they are not touching. People are still busy
in the main reception hall, but nobody is paying attention
to their being outside in the cool air.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
I know that we do not know each
other so well.
                                                            
Alejandra is quiet. She has a handkerchief in the delicate
fingers as she listens.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
But the times are dangerous, and I
can provide you a safe home.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
I know, Enrique.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
Both our families want this, but I
will not force you. On my honor,
it must be your decision.
                                                            

20.

He comes to his knees before her. He grabs her hand.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
But you would make me deliriously
happy. I know I am older, and
that concerns me too. But you will
never regret marrying me,
Alejandra.
                                                            
She is still quiet.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
My family in Paso del Norte
already knows, and they agree too.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
I know but–
                                                            
Enrique looks crestfallen and bows his head in a kind of
resignation of defeat.

Alejandra sees that and looks at him and then lifts her hand
and touches his face.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
I just, I’m not experienced in
these things, Enrique. Of course,
of course we shall marry.
                                                            
She hugs him.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
Oh, my sweet, sweet girl. Are you
sure?
                                                            
Alejandra nods her head yes
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
I’m just a confused ninny right
now. Mama always says that.
You’ll have to put up with me like
this.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
Gladly, con todo mi corazon.
                                                            
He makes to kiss her, and she is open for him too, but just
as they embrace their moment is interrupted by clapping and
laughter as Mama and the workers open the door to the
courtyard and come in happy and even clapping.
                                                            

21.

                       MAMA
You really didn’t think we would
leave you two alone did you!
                                                            
The young girl Rut is there, smiling.
                                                            
 
EXT. ABOVE THE ARMIJO RANCHO - NIGHT
                                                            
PAN -- From above, the rancho stands out in the early
evening light. The buildings slumber in the cool blue
evening. As the camera comes closer, the dull light of the
rows of white luminaries outline the walls and walkways. An
occasional guard, armed with a rifle and knife, walks in
quiet patrol of the grounds looking toward the outside of
the compound. The camera passes down toward the hacienda
entranceway. It follows the three men as they dismount
their horses and hand the reins over two youngsters. The
men enter the hacienda and into the large reception room.
                                                            
 
INT. A WELL-LIT ROOM WITH AN OPEN DANCE FLOOR - NIGHT
                                                            
Tom and Ben and Owens walk through the small crowd at the
entrance. Others are already dancing. Music is playing and
the lights are bright.

The Mexican ladies and their dons are whispering quietly as
they look at the Americans who enter. The tension is broken
when Manuel crosses the room and greets Owens and then Ben.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
Welcome, welcome. Mi casa es su
casa, my friends.
                                                            
Manuel looks at Tom approvingly.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
Welcome, young man.
                                                            
Then Manuel turns his attention to Owens and Ben and leads
them toward a large table where drinks are being prepared.
Owens looks toward Tom as they walk off. He motions with
his fingers for Tom to mingle. When they leave, Tom slides
quietly to the side, observing the whole scene and the young
women.

Everybody is dancing and happily talking. He sees Alejandra
in a corner. She is quiet and nobody is dancing with her.
But he quietly angles to the side wall and leans against the
adobe as he watches the dancing couples.

22.


Alejandra notices him as she sits with her mother. Little
Rut is standing beside her and very happy.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Who is he, mama?
                                                            
                       MAMA
One of the Americanos that saved
Enrique.
He is a nice looking young man,
but most of them are evil, mija,
barbarians.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
But still he saved Enrique.
                                                            
                       MAMA
Barbarians are useful sometimes I
suppose.
                                                            
TOM WATCHING THE DANCE PROGRESS - LATER

As Tom watches the crowd, he glances over at Alejandra.
Inadvertently their eyes meet. She smiles and looks down
and then looks up. Then she gets up and walks in his
direction.

She makes to walk by him, but then she turns and is in front
of him.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Hi. You’re one of the Americanos
that saved Captain Villacana.
                                                            
                       TOM
      (surprised)
You speak English?
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Obviously. I’m Alejandra.
                                                            
                       TOM
And I’m Tom, Tom Caruthers.
                                                            
She presents her hand, and he shakes it. It is a very
unlady thing to do in Mexico.

Two young girls run by them holding hands and giggling.
Both Tom and Alejandra are temporarily distracted.
                                                            

23.

                       ALEJANDRA
And so, Tom Cruthers, where are
you from? I mean, I know you’re
from the United States but…
                                                            
                       TOM
Oh, I’m from St. Louis. My dad
has a store there and sent me west
to, sort of, see things. Actually
I wanted to go really. It’s my
first time.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Do you like what you see?
                                                            
They pause together. She realizes her misspeak and swallows
hard.
                                                            
                       TOM
Very much so.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
I mean-
                                                            
                       TOM
Whose party is this anyway? I
hear it’s the governor’s daughter.
                                                            
Alejandra smiles.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Oh, you have not met her?
                                                            
Tom shakes his head no as he looks around the crowd of
people.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
      (motioning toward
       Rut)
Could be her.
                                                            
Alejandra’s mother motions toward her, beckoning her.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
I must go, Tom, Tom Caruthers.
                                                            
As she walks across the floor, Tom follows her closely. He
sees her joining a group of people including Enrique and
Manuel. Owens and Ben are in the background.

Manuel raises his hands. He motions toward the band, and
they stop.
                                                            

24.

                       MANUEL
Companieros, amigos (toward
Owens), friends. This is a happy
day for the Armijo family for many
reasons. We have a house full of
friends and my daughter, my only
daughter, Alejandra—
                                                            
Tom is surprised. He looks at Alejandra and she glances
back.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
      (continuing)
-has finally reached her majority.
(The crowd laughs)
                                                            
Manuel reaches and brings Eduardo forward.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
So today her mother and I have
another announcement, one that
makes us both very, very happy.

Our Alejandra, our little one,
will marry to one Capital Eduardo
Villacana, the man standing here,
the hero of the unfortunate
happenings of late.
                                                            
Tom watches Alejandra as she fondly looks to Eduardo. She
is smiling. He watches her take Eduardo’s hand, and they
hug and then begin a dance.

The whole room is celebratory. Tom continues watching the
couple. As the music changes to a slow song, Alejandra hugs
Eduardo. She talks to him, but Tom cannot hear. But
Alejandra does look at Tom when Eduardo’s back is toward
him. Their eyes meet, but she says nothing.

In the background Manuel and Owens and Ben are slipping away
from the room and entering another.
                                                            
 
INT. A SIDE ROOM, A SMALL LIBRARY - NIGHT
                                                            
Don Vigil, Manuel, Ben and Owens are all four in a small
study just off the main ballroom. A small adobe fireplace
is burning brightly. Ben is standing near the fire, stoking
it, while the others are seated and huddle together talking.
                                                            

25.

                       OWENS
It’s the only way, General. You
can’t fight an American army.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
I certainly can.
                                                            
                       OWENS
But General.
                                                            
Manuel pauses, letting the harsh words sink in. Then he
looks at Vigil.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
But we don’t want to if it can be
avoided.
                                                            
He looks again toward Vigil.
                                                            
                       VIGIL
Economically and politically it
would be a disaster.
                                                            
                       OWENS
You got that. (He pauses.)
General, that’s why we’re here. If
war comes, our army will come
here. And if we don’t have things
together, there’ll be hell to pay.
                                                            
Owens looks down, in contemplation, and seemingly at a loss
as to what more to say.

Manuel notices the man is genuinely distressed at their
predicament.
                                                            
                       OWENS
hat’ll we do, boss! I love this
little country too. And a lot of
people could get hurt.
                                                            
Owens glances toward at Manuel as he shakes his head in
despair.
                                                            
                       BEN
General, perhaps you should know.
The American army has crossed the
Nueces and the Brazos and has been
ordered to occupy all the way down
to the Rio Grande.
                                                            

26.

                       MANUEL
Then war it is.
                                                            
                       BEN
Yes.
                                                            
Each man is lost in thought for a moment as they all
contemplate the reality.
                                                            
                       BEN
When we go back, they’ll want to
talk to us. If we don’t go,
they’ll assume the worst.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
You must go. I won’t detain you.
                                                            
                       OWENS
But what do we tell them?
                                                            
                       MANUEL
Tell them what you want. You will
anyway.

You know I do not want this war.
But you Americanos want this land
as a way to California. But I am
the leader of this people on the
land you want, and if the people
are endangered, we will fight.
Yes, you tell them that.
                                                            
 
INT. THE BALLROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
LATER THAT EVENING

\Tom looks at Alejandra as she talks with guests. Ben and
Owens come toward him, distracting him from her.
                                                            
                       OWENS
Let’s go, boy. We gotta get back
to the States.
                                                            
Again Alejandra looks at him and he at her. In her eyes he
feels a disturbing friendliness. Again he glances at her.

Quietly Tom follows Ben and Owens as they leave the main
room toward their horses.
                                                            
 

27.

EXT. OUTSIDE THE BALLROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Tom sees Alejandra through the window as she talks to little
Rut. She is smiling and of course doesn’t see him outside.

Owens notices where he is looking.

They mount their horses and begin leaving the hacienda
compound.
                                                            
                       OWENS
Ah, those little Mexican girls. If
only I were young again.
                                                            
The riders disappear into the cool darkness of the night.
                                                            
 
EXT. A CLEAR, WARM JUNE ON THE HIGH PLAINS - DAY
                                                            
FORT LEAVENWORTH, KANSAS
                                                            
JUNE 1846
                                                            
(Camp noise increases and changes as the camera PANS from
encampment to encampment.)

(PAN through the army at camp as it prepares for its
march.)
At the river’s edge half a dozen steamboats are offloading
the supplies needed for the coming expedition. On the bluff
above the meandering Missouri River the bright flag of the
Unites States flutters in the soft wind. The drying green
plains around the cluster of buildings are teeming with the
accoutrements of a forming army. Tents and wagon scatter
the fields around the buildings comprising the fort. Mules
and horses are being tended to by the teamsters. The
Missouri volunteers are civilian dressed. The regular army
soldiers are distinctive in their blue uniforms. Gruff
mountain men with their horses and mules have their own
encampment. A foundry smith has set up shop by his wagon
and is pounding on a metal rim used for a wagon wheel. Up
near the buildings are the bright, well-kept cannons of the
regular army.
                                                            
 

28.

INT. COMMAND OFFICE, SUMNER PLACE - DAY
                                                            
At a desk a uniformed colonel is studying papers as he
smokes a pipe.

(Knocking at the door)
                                                            
                       KEARNEY
Enter.
                                                            
Through the door comes a fully dressed officer, PRICE, and
right behind him is a man in civilian clothing, DONIPHAN.
Price gives a sharp salute and Doniphan looks at him and
then does his own version of a salute. Kearny briskly
returns the salute.
                                                            
                       KEARNEY
At ease, gentlemen. You sit
there, Alexander.
                                                            
Doniphan sits in the straight back wooden chair. Price
continues standing but relaxes.
                                                            
                       KEARNEY
You got the news that you won the
election by now I suppose. You
were a general in the Missouri
militia? Now you’re a colonel.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Thought I might be
                                                            
                       KEARNEY
Sam Owens speaks highly of you; he
recommended you. Major Owens will
be the captain of the traders if
we ever need their help. You have
a problem with that?
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
He’s a good man.
                                                            
                       KEARNEY
Well, he thinks good of you too.
And I think you two will make a
fine team.
                                                            
Doniphan smiles.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
He just wanted to avoid the
paperwork.
                                                            

29.

                       KEARNEY
Well, you’re the US Army’s newest
colonel, Alexander.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
But I don’t know much about
running an army really, not the
serious fighting stuff.
                                                            
Kearney laughs.
                                                            
                       KEARNEY
Well, you know your men and they
know you. That’s what’s
important, that they fight when
you tell them to fight.
                                                            
Doniphan nods.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Ain’t hard to get Missouri boys to
fight. Just point ‘em in the
right direction and let ‘em loose.
But I don’t know beans about
artillery and cavalry. I’ll need
help.
                                                            
                       KEARNEY
Nobody else in your brigade does
either. But your farm boys know
how to shoot, how to hunt, and are
tougher than nails. Would take a
year to train up people to know
those things—and we just don’t
have the time.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
You got that, boss. We need to
get over the plains before winter
sets in.
                                                            
Now Kearney nods.
                                                            
                       KEARNEY
So here’s the deal. You are
colonel of the Missouri
Volunteers. Colonel Price here is
regular army. He’s commander of
the five companies of the regular
dragoons. You have any military
questions and I’m not around, see
him. He’s got the cannon too. If
you need to build something, see
            (MORE)

30.

                       KEARNEY (cont'd)
Captain Wightman; for practical
soldiering, see Captain Reid.

The art of fighting ain’t really
that complicated. It’s the
managing that’s the bitch.
Besides, we got a host of new West
Point graduates who know a bit
more than we do about the book
fighting stuff. Let ‘em loose, as
you say.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Gotcha.
                                                            
                       KEARNEY
Just use your common sense when it
comes to a fracas. And for God’s
sake don’t let the boys see you
sweat. You may not know what’s
going on, but don’t tell them
that. The last thing we need is
for the army to panic. If you
keep it together, they’ll keep it
together. Got that?
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Yes, sir.
                                                            
                       KEARNEY
Damn straight.
                                                            
Kearney sits up and adjusts his uniform, straightening it.
                                                            
                       KEARNEY
Besides, we got James Magoffin
going ahead of us to negotiate
with Armijo. Well, he supposed to
if he catches us in time. We may
not even have to fight. Mexico
may negotiate anyway after those
first two battles with our army at
the border.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
And if they fight?
                                                            
                       KEARNEY
Then we take the bastards by
storm.
                                                            
Kearney stands up. Doni.phan does too
                                                            

31.

                       KEARNEY
Price here will get you squared
away with the paperwork and all
and help you pick your staff. You
be back here by for supper and our
meeting with that advance party
                                                            
Price and Doniphan leave the room and shut the door. Kearney
looks at the door as he pauses and then he returns to his
desk to work. He pauses when he sees the map of the West on
his wall.

(PAN: Camera goes where he’s looking. From Leavenworth
across the plains to Bent’s Fort and then southwest toward
Apache pass and Taos and then Santa Fe. Kearney peers
closer, but the map is not that detailed. Then as he looks,
the camera pans west to California and the big bay in San
Francisco.
                                                            
 
EXT. PANORAMA OF THE ARMY ON THE MARCH - DAY
                                                            
Long trains of wagons and men string out like arrows in
flight as they cross the great plains.

The extended march takes a month. But finally the army
reaches the far side of the plains, and within sight of the
great Rocky Mountains lies the trapper fort called Bent’s
Fort.

As the army marches, a group of men catch up with the
soldiers. They proceed to General Kearney’s entourage just
as the column comes into sight of the fort.
                                                            
 
INT. OFFICERS’ MESS INSIDE THE FORT - NIGHT
                                                            
The room is noisy as black servants take away the dinner
plates and bring coffee and tea to the officers seated at
the long tables. At a separate table sit Kearny, Doniphan,
Price, and Owens, and two new faces: Magoffin and Charles
Bent, the host and owner of Bent’s Fort.

Owens looks at the black man serving them. Quietly the
black man continues his job.
                                                            

32.

                       DONIPHAN
Talked to my sister before coming
here. She says this war‘s about
expansion of slavery. I got
slaves, but I don’t know.
                                                            
                       OWENS
My dad had slaves. Was raised by
a fat Nigger mama.
                                                            
Magoffin laughs.
                                                            
                       MAGOFFIN
Why have slaves when you can get
Mexicans who’ll work for beans and
a penny a day, and the penny’s
optional.
                                                            
                       KEARNEY
It’s not about slaves.
                                                            
Kearney is silent, sipping his coffee and looking out across
the room.
                                                            
                       KEARNEY
It’s about California.
                                                            
                       PRICE
Manifest Destiny and all that.
                                                            
Kearney looks at Price and pauses.
                                                            
                       KEARNEY
Not exactly. Whoever controls the
west coast harbors controls the
west part of this continent. The
British are in Vancouver, the
Russians in Alaska with a fort
less than a hundred miles from
that big inland bay, and the
French are on the prowl to get
back into the colonial game. Who
would you want to see in control
of the west in ten years?
                                                            
He quietens and goes back to his coffee.
                                                            
                       OWENS
Could let the Indians keep it.
                                                            
The men laugh.
                                                            

33.

                       PRICE
Do you think the Indians could
stand up to a British army?
                                                            
                       OWENS
Probably not in California. But
the boys here are a different
breed. Don’t underestimate ’em,
Sterling.
                                                            
                       MAGOFFIN
Owens and I, we know the area and
the people. You got your job cut
out for you if the Indians and
Mexicans fight together.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
You think they will?
                                                            
                       MAGOFFIN
Maybe.
                                                            
                       KEARNEY
That’s why you’ve got to get there
before us, so things don’t get out
of hand, if possible.

How early you going?
                                                            
                       OWENS
In the morning, bright and early.
Want to get started before your
horses and wagons muddy the trail.
                                                            
Kearney quietly talks to one of the military servants. The
man then quickly goes to a side room. As Kearney speaks the
man brings in glasses and a bottle of brandy.
                                                            
                       KEARNEY
It’s time we brought these
festivities to a conclusion. So
let’s toast with some of Mr.
Magoffin’s fine Mexican wines to
the coming campaign, get a little
tipsy so we can sleep well and get
up in the morning and start this
thing right.
                                                            
(PAN OUT to the rafters)
                                                            

34.

                       DONIPHAN
Now that’s my kind of friends;
they pay for the wine. Let’s
drink to America and the future of
our country.
                                                            
 
EXT. ON THE PRAIRIE GOING TOWARD THE HIGH MOUNTAINS - DAY
                                                            
PAN: Across the broad prairie on a summer day. Ben, Owens,
Magoffin, Tom and a dozen others are on horseback going
west. One of those men is a cavalry officer, Colonel Cook.
He rides like a soldier, straight in the saddle, but he is
not dressed like an officer. They are pushing their animals
hard.

DAYS LATER

Now they are riding slower as their horses edge upward in
the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Tom and Owens are
side by side. Magoffin is just behind them.
                                                            
                       OWENS
Never did tell me why you
volunteered to go back. You
didn’t need to, you know.
                                                            
Tom says nothing. But he smiles.
                                                            
                       OWENS
You get the patriotic bug?
                                                            
(NO RESPONOSE)
                                                            
                       OWENS
Was it that girl?
                                                            
Tom shies away from that one.
                                                            
                       OWENS
That’s it, the girl.
                                                            
Tom lets the horse shake his head affirmatively up and down
as they ride.
                                                            
                       OWENS
Yes?
                                                            
                       TOM
She's beautiful.
                                                            

35.

                       OWENS
My God, boy, she’s probably
married by now.
                                                            
                       TOM
Mom told me that. Dad too. Dad
said it’d eat at me for the rest
of my life if I didn’t at least
find out.
                                                            
Owens shakes his head in agreement
                                                            
                       MAGOFFIN
You go find out, son. A good
woman is hard to find and worth
you life to get.
                                                            
                       TOM
You married, Mr. Magoffin?
                                                            
                       MAGOFFIN
Was, for sixteen good years, to
the most beautiful woman I ever
knew.

Her folks live in El Paso, Paso
del Norte to you, right on the
invasion route when we go south.
Sweetest people you’d ever want to
meet.
                                                            
The horsemen continue their long trek.
                                                            
 
EXT. OVERLOOKING THE ARMIJO RANCH COMPOUND - NIGHT
                                                            
Tom, Owens, Cook, and Magoffin are guiding their horses down
the sloping hill toward the back of the building.

An armed sentry sees them but does nothing as the band of
Americans enter through the back gate.

They dismount and a young boy takes the reins of their
horses. As he guides the animals under a shed, the four men
enter a small back building behind the main hacienda.
                                                            
 
INT. A SMALL ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Owens motions for Tom to stand beside the window and look
out toward the front of the small building. Manuel and Vigil
are in the room too.
                                                            

36.

                       MANUEL
Don Santiago, it is so nice to see
you again.
                                                            
                       MAGOFFIN
Yes, general, but I wish the
circumstances were different.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
Yes. I was shocked when I heard
about your wife, Maria. We prayed
for her and you.
                                                            
                       MAGOFFIN
Thank you, you are so kind. But
that’s not--
                                                            
                       MANUEL
I know.
                                                            
As they talk, Tom looks out the window into the cool night.
He notices a wagon full of furniture in the courtyard. A
servant is placing a chair onto the already heavy load and
is securing it with a rope.

They sit around the table and Manuel pours wine into some
elegant glasses.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
You like good wine I know.
                                                            
                       MAGOFFIN
And good friends.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
Yes, friends, especially in
troubling times.
                                                            
                       COOK
We know, General Armijo, that you
are disinclined to fight, but we
need to know if you intend to
fight.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
Yes.
                                                            
                       MAGOFFIN
Young men, Manuel, they are not
skilled in the ways of diplomacy.
First we drink; then we talk of
those things.
                                                            

37.

Through the window Tom sees movement in the courtyard. It
is ALEJANDRA. She is loading the wagon with blankets along
with Rut. This time she is in a simple white skirt and her
hair is in a bun.

As the others talk, Tom motions for owens to look through
the window too. Owens acknowledges what he sees and smiles
slyly
                                                            
                       OWENS
      (whspering)
Go out to check on the horses. And
watch the courtyard from there.
                                                            
Tom nods and then quietly slides out the door and into the
darkness.
                                                            
 
EXT. IN THE COURT YARD ­ AN EVENING WITH A FULL MOON - NIGHT
                                                            
Tom quietly exits the little back building. But Alejandra
is nowhere to be seen. The courtyard is quiet, occupied now
by the still fountain and the wagon. No horses are hitched
to the big wagon, but their horses and others seem to be in
the shed encased with shadows.

Alejandra and Rut return again with more blankets. Rut is
the first to spot Tom.
                                                            
                       RUT
      (quietly but not
       excied)
El Americano, Tomás.
                                                            
Alejandra immediately looks where Rut is gesturing. She
sees Tom and in the darkness smiles. But she stops her
smile immediately and is now angry.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
      (angry)
You come to take possession of
your spoil, Americano?
                                                            
Tom is quiet as Alejandra briskly sets the blanks down in
the wagon. Her gestures are of anger.
                                                            
                       TOM
I’m sorry you see us as enemies. I
don’t see you as such.
                                                            

38.

                       ALEJANDRA
And my betrothed, is he not is
your enemy?
                                                            
Again Tom is silent
                                                            
                       TOM
I suppose. But I wish it weren’t
so.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
It’s foolish to wish for what
cannot be.
                                                            
                       TOM
You’re still not married then?
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Wishing never­ What? No, not
yet. Your army has slowed all
that down.
                                                            
                       TOM
I’m sorry.
                                                            
But in the darkness Tom is smiling.

Alejandra looks at Rut. Rut is smiling.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
      (to Rut)
Go get some more things.
                                                            
Rut immediately frowns. But then she turns and obediently
goes into the hacienda.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
I’ll be going south to Chihuahua
tomorrow. Fleeing from you
barbarians my mother says.
                                                            
                       TOM
I’m sorry. I’d like to see you
some more.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
It can’t be, Mr. Americano.
                                                            
                       TOM
Thomas, Tomás.
                                                            
She hesitates before speaking.
                                                            

39.

                       ALEJANDRA
Tomás.
                                                            
 
INT. THE LITTLE ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
The atmosphere is more tense, but not hostile.
                                                            
                       VIGIL
And the laws, will our laws
change?
                                                            
                       MAGOFFIN
Not substantially. The laws of
both nations are about the same.
                                                            
                       VIGIL
And the land grants?
                                                            
                       MAGOFFIN
They will be honoured, even those
that you have made this year.
                                                            
                       COOK
If you don’t fight.
                                                            
                       VIGIL
Will we be citizens or slaves?
                                                            
                       MAGOFFIN
There will be no slaves in New
Mexico. And in time, when the war
is over, I see nothing barring
citizenship.
                                                            
                       COOK
If there is no resistance.
                                                            
Manuel seems a little irritated by Cook’s words. But he
keeps quiet for the moment.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
Yes, colonel. You must conquer
your enemy before devouring him.

But you can tell your General
Kearney this. I am still
disinclined to fight, but I shall
resist if I see harm coming to
this people. The welfare of this
people is my main concern.
                                                            

40.

Magoffin is looking at the empty wine bottle.
                                                            
                       MAGOFFIN
The wine’s all gone, salió, the
party over.

(To Owens and Cook) Why don’t you
two get the horses while the
general and I talk a little more.
                                                            
Manuel motions for Vigil to go with the others and they head
for the door.
                                                            
 
EXT. IN THE COURTYARD - NIGHT
                                                            
Owens, Cook and Vigil go out of the door. As Cook and Vigil
go for the horses in the darkness, Owens walks toward Tom
and Alejandra.

Alejandra immediately goes back into the hacienda as Owens
approaches.

Owens says nothing as he stands beside Tom and they look
toward the door where Alejandra disappeared.
                                                            
                       TOM
She’s still not married. And she
knows my name.
                                                            
                       OWENS
I see.
                                                            
HALF AN HOUR LATER

Magoffin opens the door and seems to stumble out. he is
obviously drunk. Cook brings the horses from the shed.
                                                            
                       OWENS
Took you long enough.
                                                            
                       MAGOFFIN
We found another bottle.
                                                            
Tom helps Magoffin into the saddle. Then he mounts and they
all head toward the gate.
                                                            
                       MAGOFFIN
Head ‘em east, boys, and wake me
in the morning.
                                                            
 

41.

EXT. OUTSIDE BENT’S FORT - DAY
                                                            
Under a tent on the plains below Bent’s Fort is the
headquarters of General Kearney. Tom stands, his hat in his
hand, while Magoffin, Owens and Cook report to General
Kearney. Doniphan is behind the general sipping coffee.
                                                            
                       MAGOFFIN
No, General, I still don’t think
he will fight. He’s got too much
to lose.
                                                            
                       COOK
But he didn’t say he wouldn’t.
                                                            
                       MAGOFFIN
Truth to that.
                                                            
Magoffin sits on a wooden box while Cook stands.
                                                            
                       MAGOFFIN
His only experience with a
substantial military problem was
when those 400 Texican tried to
conquer him four years ago. By
the time they crossed the Llano
Estacado, they were scattered,
miserable, and busted. He just
rounded them up and sent the
leaders as prisoners to Chihuahua.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Well, we’re not brigands. The
regulars and these Missouri farm
boys should take them just fine.
                                                            
                       MAGOFFIN
True. And he knows that. But
he’s got others to convince.
Besides, the Indians could fight
if he doesn’t.
                                                            
                       KEARNEY
      (to Cook)
What type of resistance might we
expect?
                                                            

42.

                       COOK
They will outnumber us, but their
people are not well armed and only
a few hundred are trained even in
basic military parlance. They
have cannon but I doubt much
experience in using it.
                                                            
                       KEARNEY
Is that true?
                                                            
                       MAGOFFIN
They’ve got six to eight guns in
the whole territory, including one
they got of the Texicans. Never
heard of one being fired though.
                                                            
                       KEARNEY
If they do fight, where will they
make their stand?
                                                            
                       COOK & MAGOFFIN
      (in unison)
Apache Canyon.
                                                            
They look at each other.
                                                            
                       COOK
Rocks and walls narrow the passage
to less than a hundred yards in
spots. Even the road is tight. If
they mean to fight, it will be
there.
                                                            
                       KEARNEY
Then Apache Canyon it is. (Looking
at Doniphan and then Cook) We’ll
be ready by then.

We’ve got seventeen hundred
regulars and militia against?
                                                            
                       COOK
Two thousand.
                                                            
                       MAGOFFIN
Maybe five thousand.
                                                            
They look at him.
                                                            

43.

                       MAGOFFIN
If the Indians fight, they will
bring that many. They are not
well-armed, but they do have
hatchets, knives, lances, machetes
and bows.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Good God.
                                                            
                       KEARNEY
Well, they’ve never heard the howl
of artillery or felt the steel of
an American army. We’re going,
gentlemen. Best we get the men
ready.
                                                            
 
INT. IN THE PLAZA PARK - DAY
                                                            
Maria is walking, twirling her parasol, as Manuel walks
beside her, his hands cupped behind his back.
                                                            
                       MARIA
The days are too hot now, don’t
you think?
                                                            
Manuel nods.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
I wish it weren’t so.
                                                            
                       MARIA
But it is.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
It is.
                                                            
They continue walking and are silent together.
                                                            
                       MARIA
Don’t come to the cantina again.
They mean to kill you there or in
the pass I think.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
How did you learn this?
                                                            
                       MARIA
The usual. Carmen told me after,
after the Indian Tomasito left. He
was drunk and bragging to my girls
that we would have a new leader
            (MORE)

44.

                       MARIA (cont'd)
and that soon he would be the
second most important man in the
state.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
And who is the first?
                                                            
                       MARIA
He didn’t say. But Archuleta I
think.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
Then they are united.
                                                            
Maria continues walking, but a tear drops on her cheek
                                                            
                       MARIA
Will you go south?
                                                            
                       MANUEL
I must, for a while.
                                                            
She glances at him. She reveals a softness and caring
warmth as she touches his hand. But then she withdraws it
when a couple walking near them notices.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
I have land in the north, a grant.
When all this is over, I shall go
there. And you?
                                                            
                       MARIA
I’ll stay. More men will be in
town, rich Americanos. Business
should be good.
                                                            
She laughs and he smiles.
                                                            
                       MARIA
Do take care of yourself, Manuel.
                                                            
Manuel stops.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
God, I wish things had been
different.
                                                            
Maria stops and faces him. She looks him in the eyes in a
caressing manner, wanting to touch him but not daring to.
                                                            
                       MARIA
But they cannot be.
                                                            

45.

Manuel puts his hand over his mouth and closes his eyes.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
You bring out my heart, mi Tules.
                                                            
                       MARIA
And you mine.
                                                            
She looks around, grabs his hand, and walks to a secluded
corner covered by one of the small trees.

In the quiet cove they embrace and cry together.
                                                            
                       MARIA
Promise me you will stay alive.
Promise me.
                                                            
Manuel nods closes his eyes.
                                                            
                       MARIA
Promise me.
                                                            
He opens his eyes and looks at her.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
I cannot promise. But—
                                                            
She puts her fingers on his lips.
                                                            
                       MARIA
I know.
                                                            
She leans toward him and kisses his forehead, even though
she has to stretch up on her toes to do so.
                                                            
                       MARIA
But remember there’s one here who
loves you and wants to see you
again.
                                                            
Again Manuel nods.
                                                            
 
INT. THE PLANNING ROOM, THE PALACE OF THE GOVERNORS - DAY
                                                            
A map covers a large wooden table. Enrique, Manuel, Vigil
and others are peering down at it, studying it.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
Will the Navajo come?
                                                            

46.

                       ARCHLETA
Some, yes.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
And the Pueblo?
                                                            
                       ARCHLETA
Yes, they will come. We are one
in this.
                                                            
Manuel just nods.
                                                            
                       VIGIL
The Americanos are here, north of
the pass. We will be there in
time.
                                                            
 
EXT. A SMALL ADOBE VILLAGE IN NOE MEXICO - DAY
                                                            
The American army is moving through it and a few Mexicans
are in the town square. They are treated courteously.

General Kearny looks around and sees a wagon next to a
one-story adobe building. He notes a clear path and so
takes it, stepping up onto the wagon and then onto some
boxes and then onto the roof of the adobe building. As
Colonel Cook watches he raises his hands toward the people
assembled below him.

Kearney pulls a piece of paper from his pocket and begins
reading it to the few people there.
                                                            
                       KEARNEY
I am General Kearney, and I have a

proclamation to read to the
people of New
Mexico:
"The undersigned enters New Mexico
with a large military force for
the purpose of seeking union with
and ameliorating the condition of
its inhabitants...It is enjoined
on the citizens of New Mexico to
remain quietly at their homes, and
to pursue their peaceful
avocations. So long as they
continue in such pursuits, they
will not be interfered with by the
American army, but will be
respected and protected in their
            (MORE)

47.

                       KEARNEY (cont'd)
rights, both civil and religious."
Signed by me, Stephen W. Kearney.
July 31, 1846
                                                            
Cook takes another copy of the notice and with a nail and
the butt of his pistol posts it to the door of the church.
                                                            
 
EXT. THE TOP OF THE PASS, IN A COMMANDING POSITION - DAY
                                                            
In the twilight of the coming night, large groups of
Indians, mostly Pueblo farmers, are occupying the rocks
heights above the canyon. Some have rifles, but most have
an assortment of weapons, including bows and arrows and
hatchets.

They sit and wait as the coming evening envelops the
mountains into the darkness.
                                                            
 
EXT. AT THE BASE OF THE PASS - DAY
                                                            
Singing birds in the piñon trees, oblivious to the impending
action, merrily chirp away to greet the warm morning and the
clean, clear sky.

On a huge rock above the American encampment, Enrique is
lying flat observing the large enemy army spread out before
him. Soldiers are waking up and tending to their horses.
With binoculars he closely studies the eight cannon
carriages being harnessed and prepared for movement.

Slowly he slides down the back of the rock to two men
waiting for him. He mounts his white horse and they quietly
slide away from the Americans.
                                                            
 
EXT. THE AMERICAN CAMP - DAY
                                                            
(CLOSEUP) TOM looks at the saddle of his horse but then
suddenly turns and looks toward the silent canyon across the
large meadow. He seems to be listening, but nothing.
                                                            
                       BEN
      (suddenly)
Tommy.
                                                            
Tom looks up into the face of Ben who is mounted.
                                                            

48.

                       BEN
Come on. We got lead in this, for
Owens’s command.
                                                            
Ben immediately mounts.
                                                            
 
EXT. ON A CLIFF ABOVE THE PASS - DAY
                                                            
Manuel sits on his horse looking down at the Indians
positioning themselves in the rocks and boulders on both
sides of the canyon.

He looks at a company of his own dragoons mounted and
waiting just behind him with Archuleta. The Spaniard
Sanchez and Tomasito are with a group of Indian chiefs a few
feet away. Vigil sits on his horse between them and Manuel,
his hand on his pistol.

Manuel looks at his own cannon positioned below him. They
too are aimed toward he pass.

Enrique suddenly rides up toward him from the rear. He
reins in his horse in front of Manuel and the chiefs.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
They are coming, general, about
two thousand men with artillery.
They are all mounted.
                                                            
Manuel nods. Manuel raises his hands and motions for the
chiefs to come to him.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
      (loudly)
There is our enemy.
                                                            
Many of the men are anxious, as if wanting desperately to be
somewhere else, and Manuel can see this in their eyes.

An older chief speaks in Pueblo.
                                                            
                       TOMASITO
He says we can stop them if your
cavalry charges first and forces
them to dismount.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
Yes, but for how long?
                                                            

49.

                       ENRIQUE
Till their artillery finds the
range. These Indians have never
even heard a cannon shot or seen
its impact and its destruction.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
Yes, we could stop them. But at
what cost. They can work around
the pass and filter in behind us
in two days.

If the Pueblo attack while they
are in the pass, that will force
them to dismount, and then our
cannon can destroy them. The
survivors will be picked off by my
the dragoons.
                                                            
The chief angrily speaks, and then Tomasito translates.
                                                            
                       TOMASITO
But we have no rifles, only bows
and arrows. We would be no match
for them like this.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
Yes, I see.
                                                            
Manuel seems to be thinking.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
      (aside to Enrique)
It might be best to save our men
for a fight we have a chance to
win.
                                                            
Archuleta comes up to the men. He leans in his saddle and
looks down the slope at the advancing American column.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
Well, Colonel, what do you think?
                                                            
                       ARCHLETA
If the Indians run, we can’t stop
them that is sure, general.
                                                            
Manuel restlessly looks again at the chasm below.
                                                            
 

50.

EXT. THE AMERICAN ARMY BELOW - DAY
                                                            
(THE SOUND OF AMERICAN BUGLES)

Cavalry charge through the narrows of the gorge in a narrow
column of twos.

At the other side of the gorge, the cavalry fann out,
occupying the narrows and preparing for action.

Tom comes riding back from the far left side of the gorge to
Doniphan and Owens.
                                                            
                       TOM
They’re gone. Ben’s checking
further.
                                                            
Kearney comes riding up to the men.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Gone, general, skeddadled. Looks
like your General Armijo ain’t
fighting this day.
                                                            
                       KEARNEY
Looks like. We’d a had hell to
pay trying to take this pass.

Looks like Santa Fe is ours too.
                                                            
 
EXT. THE PLAZA IN SANTA FE - DAY
                                                            
AUGUST 18, 1846
                                                            
The American army is in full control of the town and
settling in. Two howitzers are in the center of the city,
as if on display, but soldiers are around them.

On the far side of the plaza a few old women are selling
watermelons and blankets and various other sundries. One
old woman is smoking as the children play in her midst,
unmindful of the puffs from her corn cob cigarito, a
hollowed out piece of corn cob stuffed with flakes of
tobacco.

From his spot by the horses in the plaza Tom watches as Don
Vigil and Colonel Archuleta exit the front of the Governor’s
Palace. They talk briefly and then Vigil returns to the
palace. Archuleta mounts his horse and leaves alone,
passing Tom slowly but not paying attention to him.

51.


LATER:

Ben leaves the palace and walks to Tom and their horses.
                                                            
                       BEN
Doniphan wants you.
                                                            
                       TOM
Me?
                                                            
                       BEN
Needs help in translating that
constitution stuff.
                                                            
Tom opens the flap of his saddle bag.
                                                            
                       TOM
Guess I’ll need my dictionary.
                                                            
He pulls out a book and rubs it clean of dust. Then he
looks at Ben.
                                                            
                       TOM
That Archuleta guy, wasn’t one of
the leaders of the Mexican army?
                                                            
Ben nods in agreement.
                                                            
                       TOM
So how come he’s walking around?
Shouldn’t he be a prisoner or
something?
                                                            
Ben smiles and nods again.
                                                            
                       BEN
You would think. But we promised
those guys we wouldn’t bother them
and they could become citizens if
they didn’t fight—and they didn’t.
                                                            
                       TOM
You believe ‘em?
                                                            
Ben motions toward the palace.
                                                            
                       BEN
You skedaddle on now. Don’t let
that worry you. We’re just
supposed to be soldiers, boy.
                                                            
 

52.

INT. THE PALACE OF THE GOVERNORS - DAY
                                                            
Doniphan is relaxed as he leans sideways to a desk and looks
at some documents. Tom is on the other side of the desk
sitting in a straight wooden chair peering over the same
papers.
                                                            
                       TOM
My book Spanish is okay. But I
still have problems understanding
what these Mexicans say sometimes.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
No problem. I just need help in
translating the Missouri
constitution into Spanish.
                                                            
                       TOM
Why’s that?
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Well, these folk need a
provisional constitution, one that
will govern them, you know. (He
hesitates as he looks at Tom.)
Besides, General Kearney told me
to make one.
                                                            
Tom looks at the document more closely, studying it this
time. He opens his dictionary and goes to the back.
                                                            
                       TOM
I can get you there if I get help
on the words I don’t know and
aren’t in here.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
No problem. Others are working on
it too. Just need you to work on
the Spanish grammar really. Our
punctuation is bad, bad.
                                                            
Tom nods in agreement.
                                                            
                       TOM
Yes, sir, I can do that.
                                                            
 
INT. LA DONA MARIA’S SALON - NIGHT
                                                            
The salon is filled with all kinds of men and the women that
Doña Maria provides. Many are playing cards at the

53.

different tables; all are drinking. The majority of the
people there are American traders, not uniformed soldiers.

At a side table Maria, called “La Tules” by her friends, is
talking with Archuleta. It is secluded. Her small frame
leans toward him and her fingers are on the table, almost
touching his arm. Archuleta seems angry and dangerous as he
looks around the room.
                                                            
                       MARIA
But Diego, what was I to do, keep
the general happy or worry about
his wrath? You know how cruel he
could be. I am amazed that you
survived.
                                                            
                       ARCHLETA
But we are in a war. We all must
do our duty for Mexico.
                                                            
                       MARIA
But I thought you took their oath
of allegiance.
                                                            
Archuleta shakes his head.
                                                            
                       ARCHLETA
Yes, but they lied. They said I
would have a post, but they didn’t
give one. And now I wonder what
else are they lying about.
                                                            
                       MARIA
I wonder too. They gave you
nothing?
                                                            
                       ARCHLETA
Nada.
                                                            
                       MARIA
It is only temporary, Diego. They
don’t yet realize what a good man
you are.
                                                            
She pauses and looks at Archuleta again. He still seems to
be seething.
                                                            
                       MARIA
What are you planning?
                                                            
                       ARCHLETA
Nothing. I don’t know, not yet.
                                                            

54.

                       MARIA
Diego, whatever happened to that
Indian you came in with
before—before the Americanos?
                                                            
                       ARCHLETA
He’s up in Taos.
                                                            
Archuleta seems to be less serious now. He even smiles, as
if he has a secret joke.
                                                            
                       ARCHLETA
Business is good, Maria.
                                                            
                       MARIA
That’s the only reason I’m here.
                                                            
                       ARCHLETA
And the damas of Chihuahua
wouldn’t want you there.
                                                            
Archuleta laughs. Maria is privately hurt but she hides it.
She smiles.
                                                            
                       ARCHLETA
If I had some friends come down
from Taos and they stayed here,
you wouldn’t tell the Americans?
                                                            
                       MARIA
Who I keep in the salon is none of
their business, Diego. But they
might spot them if you’re not
careful.
                                                            
                       ARCHLETA
Leave that to me, mi Tules.
                                                            
                       MARIA
      (playfully)
Indeed. We are not that close
yet, señor.
                                                            
She laughs and so does he as they lean back together and
relax.
                                                            
 
EXT. ALONG THE UPPER REACHES OF THE RIO GRANDE RIVER - DAY
                                                            
Four Navajo Indians are in the process of burning by fire an
older man in front of two young children, a girl and a boy
about ten years old.

55.


Suddenly another Navajo enters where they are and announces
in Navajo the imminent arrival of the enemy. The Indians
immediately leave, but they slit the throat of the man as
they depart with bundles of grain over their saddles and two
horses.

The children look at him as the scene is silent. Then the
thunderous arrival of Captain Reid, Ben, and a dozen
dragoons. The Captain and the dragoons race by while Ben
and two other troopers dismount and attend to the death
scene.
                                                            
                       BEN
Mamá? Donde está?
                                                            
The children point toward the hacienda. A young trooper
goes there and disappears inside. Immediately he return,
white and seemingly sick. He looks at Ben.

Captain Reid returns with the other troopers.
                                                            
                       REID
They got away again. We’ll get
them next time.
                                                            
Ben says nothing.

LATER – DAY

The group of Americans this time is mounted and riding down
a trail by the river. The scenery is beautiful as the
soldiers and the two children go down the road.
                                                            
                       REID
Why did the Indians do that, kill
the father in front of his
children?
                                                            
                       BEN
Was a slave raid, to get slaves.
They kill the dad in front of the
kids to guarantee the kids won’t
run away.
                                                            
                       REID
This is a cruel land.
                                                            
                       BEN
People are ignorant; place is
beautiful, Captain.
                                                            

56.

                       REID
But why would a poor man risk his
life and the lives of his family
on a poor watermelon patch? It’s
beyond me.
                                                            
                       BEN
It’s the land, Captain. We all
love the land.
                                                            
                       REID
The land. Then you’re fools,
scout, damn fools. Dirt is dirt.
                                                            
 
EXT. A BLUFF OVERLOOKING THE PASS IN EL PASO - DAY
                                                            
Mexican officers, including Enrique, but not Manuel, are
standing overlooking the pass north of the town of Paso del
Norte. The valley by the river is lush with big oak trees
and on the slopes of the riverbed are long lines of
vineyards, for Paso del Norte is famous for its wines.
                                                            
                       MEXICAN COLONEL
So the Americanos are coming?
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
Most certainly, colonel.
                                                            
                       MEXICAN COLONEL
So we will be ready for them. We
will fight, not like your Indians.

But where and when?
                                                            
None of the officers puts forward an opinion. Enrique sees
this.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
      (hesitating)
As they come off the jornada,
colonel, when not all of them are
in yet and they are still weak.
That is our best chance to stop
them.
                                                            
                       MEXICAN COLONEL
But not in the pass?
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
They will be ready at the pass,
and their strongest.
                                                            

57.

                       MEXICAN COLONEL
Yes, I see. So north of here,
near Mesilla.
                                                            
Enrique just nods. The colonel quietly looks into the pass
and beyond, to the river and the green trees on both sides.
After a while he looks back at Enrique again.
                                                            
                       MEXICAN COLONEL
Tell me, captain, when we are
finished here today, are you going
to visit your novia?
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
Yes, colonel.
                                                            
                       MEXICAN COLONEL
Then we had better finish, don’t
you think?
                                                            
 
EXT. IN A LARGE HACIENDA IN EL PASO (PASO DEL NORTE) - DAY
                                                            
Enrique and Alejandra are together under a tall oak tree and
on a thick lawn of dry, brown grass.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
It is nice that your family took
me and mamá in. They are good
people, Enrique.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
I told you, even your mamá says
so.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
That truly is amazing.
                                                            
She hesitates, looking down. Then she looks at him
seriously.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
      (pause)
Enrique, let’s marry now.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
The war won’t last long, my love.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
But, but—
                                                            
He touches her face and looks into her teary eyes.
                                                            

58.

                       ENRIQUE
It’s better this way. God, I wish
it weren’t, but it is better. I
worry enough. I would worry too
much, for you and us.
                                                            
Alejandra leans to him, seriously looking into his eyes.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
But it’s not better for me. I may
never, I, I—
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
Any other time in my life, my
love. But now, with Mexico under
invasion.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Mexico, Mexico, Mexico—sometimes I
think you love Mexico more than
me.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
I do love Mexico. But that does
not mean that I love you any the
less.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
But, but I’m afraid. Enrique, I’m
afraid.
                                                            
 
EXT. THE CONSTRUCTION SITE OF THE NEW FORT ABOVE SAN - DAY
                                                            
Kearney is inspecting the construction of the new fort.
Doniphan, Captain Reid, Price and others are walking around.
                                                            
                       KEARNEY
Alexander, you’ve got to push on
and join General Wool down south,
and I’ve got to get to California
and get those harbors. That we
know.
                                                            
                       PRICE
I’ve got the state, but when you
guys leave, I’ve also got the
Indian problem.
                                                            
                       KEARNEY
I’ve been thinking about that. The
Pueblo seem peaceful enough, but
the Navajo, well—
            (MORE)

59.

                       KEARNEY (cont'd)

Alexander, you demonstrate against
them before you go south to
Chihuahua. It should at least
give them thought to pause till
Cook arrives with the Mormon
battalion.
                                                            
Kearney looks up at the Sangre del Christo. Already winter
clouds are brooding in the upper valleys and around the
peaks.
                                                            
                       KEARNEY
Winter’s coming. The mountains
will close up soon. We need that
pass Alexander if we’re to keep
California.
                                                            
 
EXT. THE WINTER MOUNTAIN PASS, FILLED WITH SNOW - DAY
                                                            
Captain Reid is at the head of a company of mounted Missouri
cavalry. He looks up at the mountain pass that is covered
with snow. But he continues.

LATER

Reid is trudging with his men through three inches of new
snow in the mountains.

The outriders stop and look up at the snowy forest.

From above two Navajo Indians are observing the movement of
his cavalry as they begin the descent out of the snowy pass
and toward the piñon covered slopes. His force appears in
very good shape.
                                                            
 
EXT. THE INDIAN CAMP - DAY
                                                            
(The sound of chanting Indians and their drums)

At the center of the large Navajo Indian camp Doniphan and
other officers are sitting down with Navajo chiefs The
Indian women and children present along with more than a
hundred warriors. A Mexican is translator for Doniphan.

Ben and Tom are behind them with the rest of the American
soldiers. They are looking at the Indians. Tom is
impressed with these men. There are not too many Americans.
But there are very many Navajo around them in addition to

60.

the dozen chiefs.

Beautifully dressed Navajo horsemen ride fast in front of
them, demonstrating their horsemanship and weapons use,
including a number of rifles.

One horseman rides by, leaning down and shoot with his bow
and arrow from below the belly of the horse at full gallop.
Doniphan claps his hands.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Excellent, excellent.
                                                            
He looks at the Indian chiefs around him.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
So we pledge peace between our
peoples. If you do not molest our
people, we shall respect your
people and your property.
                                                            
As the translator works, he looks at the chiefs, and they
attentively listen.

One chief speaks up, and Doniphan patiently listens to the
translation
                                                            
                       TRANSLATOR
Your people now include the
Mexicans?
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Yes.
                                                            
                       TRANSLATOR
But they were not your people
before you attacked them. And now
they are your people?
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Yes, ald also the Pueblo.
                                                            
The chiefs talk this over among themselves. The OLD CHIEF
stops the speaking and nods affirmatively to the
translator.
                                                            
                       TRANSLATOR
They will sign.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Yes, good. So now the reading of
the treaty.
                                                            

61.

He motions toward his translator. The Mexican stands and
begins reading the agreement in Navajo.

As he speaks, a couple of the chiefs lean toward each other
and whisper.
                                                            
                       YOUNG CHIEF
(In Navajo) We could kill them
all here. There are only thirty.
                                                            
The OLD CHIEF gently waves his hand, stopping the younger
man.
                                                            
                       OLD CHIEF
(In Navajo) There are hundreds at
the river. Besides, paper is
paper. We can do what we want
when they leave.
                                                            
                       ANOTHER CHIEF
And remember the many soldiers
coming out of the snow who are
already among the people.
                                                            
                       OLD CHIEF
Yes. They are not like the
Mexican. And they are too many.
We cannot fight now.
                                                            
 
INT. DONA MARIA’S SALON - DAY
                                                            
The salon is all abuzz with talking. It is full, with
Mexicans, Indians, and Americans playing cards and talking.

Maria is at a table and watches the Indian Tomasito leave
the salon.

Consuela comes to Maria, her eyes all bright and excited. As
Maria talks with another girl, the first girl is anxious,
but does not butt in.
                                                            
                       MARIA
What is it, Connie?
                                                            
                       CONSUELA
The Americano army. They are gone
south now, to El Paso.
                                                            

62.

                       MARIA
Oh, Consuela, everybody knows
that. There are still enough here
to keep us safe, you know. But it
is exciting.

Tomasito, why did he leave so
quickly.
                                                            
                       CONSUELA
I don’t know. He was going to
stay, but he talked to the Colonel
and then left, to Taos he said.

Will they die, Maria, the
Americanos.
                                                            
                       MARIA
I don’t know. I hope not. But
they are in God’s hands now.
                                                            
 
EXT. THE DESERT PLAINS ABOVE THE RIO GRANDE - DAY
                                                            
Doniphan, Tom and Ben are mounted and looking out toward a
dry plain.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
It’s cold. Thought it’d be warmer
down south. But December is
December anywhere I guess.
                                                            
                       BEN
The river turns thata way; we go
thisa way, a hundred miles of
nothin’. It’s the Jornada del
Muerto, the journey of death. It’s
flatter and faster, although
there’s no water for three days.
On the other side we hit the river
again, only this time about forty
miles north of the pass.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Do they know we’re coming?
                                                            
                       BEN
Doesn’t matter. They’ll know soon
enough. They’ve had time to
prepare too. It won’t be like New
Mexico.
                                                            

63.

                       DONIPHAN
No, I wouldn’t think so. We’d
best get to it then.
                                                            
They ride their animals into the desert as the army follows
with its baggage and the cannons.

LATER

The men and wagons are very strung out on the desert floor.
The days are still cool and windy despite the land being
arid.

The howitzers are already straggling behind the cavalry,
but the march continues.
                                                            
 
EXT. THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY, NEAR THE RIVER - DAY
                                                            
(PAN: FROM THE RIVER TO THE MEN ON A FAR BANK, TO TOM AND
BEN AND TWO OTHERS)

Tom looks across the valley. Trees and tall reeds line the
winding river as it curls toward the south.

Ben guides his horse down a steep sand hill. Ben leads the
small band of men as they begin going through a field of
tall reeds. Tom is in the lead, alert as they go through
the tall grasses.

Suddenly Tom stops and looks at the wide river before him.
He looks back at Ben, and Ben nods.

Tom and one of the men begin to ford the wide, fast flowing
river. Tom makes the opposite shore. Then he and the other
rider disappear into the reeds. He rides up the far bank
and onto a wide expanse of a grassy field.

He sees two Mexican riders retreating down the far bank of
the river. One has a large white horse. Then his companion
reappears. At that Tom turns and they go back into the
swift water and return.
                                                            
                       TOM
She’s clear. But we’ve been seen.
                                                            
                       BEN
Go tell the colonel. And tell him
Merry Christmas too. It’s
Christmas day.
                                                            

64.

                       TOM
Really?
                                                            
                       BEN
And maybe a snowy one too.
                                                            
 
EXT. THE AMERICAN CAMP AT BRAZITO - DAY
                                                            
On a grassy elbow of the river the army is encamped. The
wagons spread across the grassy spit, hemming the horses
between them and the river.

The army is resting, gathering its men from the desert and
grazing the animals in the grassy field. The wagons are at
the entrance of the elbow that is surrounded on three sides
by the meandering river.

The men are desperately scattered all over the area, looking
for food, fishing, tending the animals.

Colonel Doniphan is at a table in front of his tent with
three others playing cards. The day is cool and snow flakes
gently fall into the scattered camp sites. No one is
mounted except for the patrol team.

(PAN FROM THE CAMP UP RIVER TO TOM)

Tom is riding his horse quickly among the snowflakes just
above the river’s edge.

(Noise—rustling of bushes)

Tom motions toward the opposite side of a large cop of trees
and bushes on the river’s edge as he goes the other way. He
stops and leans forward, listening. Then he draws his
pistol and guides his horse around the far side of the
little cops of trees. By a tree he suddenly spots the white
horse, but the rider is nowhere.
                                                            
                       TROOPER
      (voice)
Think he’s by the river, Tommy.
                                                            
Tom rides up to the horse and looks closely at the saddle.
He finds the initials on the silver horn: E.V. El Paso del
Norte.
                                                            
                       TOM
Hold off.
                                                            
His Companion rides up to Tom.
                                                            

65.

                       TROOPER
We’ve got him cornered. We can
bag him iffen we want.
                                                            
                       TOM
No. It’s Christmas. Besides, we
got his horse.
                                                            
 
EXT. THE CAMP, AT DONOVAN’S CARD GAME - DAY
                                                            
NOISE: A CARD GAME

Tom is dismounted and standing before the group of men at
the table. Donovan has a good hand and is distracted just a
little.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
So what’s with a scout now and
then?
                                                            
                       TOM
But it’s Christmas Day and they’re
close.
                                                            
Doniphan nods as he continues concentrating on his hand.

Tom hears noise and looks up the river, across the grassy
area in front of the American compound. From the far side
he sees his two companion scouts riding hard toward the
camp.

The one rider pulls up in front of the came.
                                                            
                       TROOPER
Mexicans, Colonel, coming right at
us, lots of ‘em.
                                                            
TOM and DONIPHAN watch the far field where a thousand
uniformed Mexican infantry and cavalry begin to emerge from
the undergrowth. The appearing of the enemy throws the
American camp into a wild, unorganized confusion as the camp
awakens and hastily prepares for the coming danger.

Bugles blare as from the line of enemy soldiers as a lone
rider emerges.

The officer has a black flag two crude cross bones on it
attached to his lance. He halts close to the American line.
                                                            

66.

                       MEXICAN LIEUTENANT
      (in heavily
       accented English)
(Loudly) The General of the
Federal Army of Mexico wishes to
get the general of the American
army to come to us.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
      (loudly)
Yes, I wish that I might get him
too.
                                                            
The officer waits, thinking for a minute. Then he angrily
clutches the reins of his horse
                                                            
                       MEXICAN LIEUTENANT
Then prepare for a charge: we give
and take no quarter!
                                                            
The Mexican officer turns and rides back toward his own
lines.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
      (to Captain Reid)
The balls of that bastard.
                                                            
                       REID
The cannon are too far away, still
out on the desert, and we’ve fewer
than five hundred in camp. They
should have attacked immediately,
colonel.
                                                            
(MASSIVE SOUND OF A VOLLEY OF GUNFIRE from the entire
Mexican line causes many of the men to flinch and duck. Most
shots go high, but some are low enough to hit two men,
injuring them.)

Tom is standing up looking toward the colorful enemy line.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Get down, boy. They may be lousy
shots, but they could get lucky.

Steady, boys. Don’t fire yet.
                                                            
Reid is low and inspecting the enemy line with his
binoculars.
                                                            

67.

                       REID
About a thousand men, infantry and
dragoons. But I do not see
artillery.
                                                            
SUDDENLY ANOTHER VOLLEY from the Mexican line. This one is
still high.)

The Mexican troops begin yelling and start their advance.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Steady, steady.
                                                            
Tom has his long rifle. He notices that his hands are
shaky. He tries to aim, but he cannot.

The Mexican line advances to halfway across the field.
Doniphan rises. He looks down the American line, barricaded
and low in their positions. But every man is armed and
looking toward the approaching enemy.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Fire, fire.
                                                            
The American encampment erupts in a line of smoke and fire.
The aim of the Missouri frontiersmen is accurate and lethal.
Many in the Mexican lead line fall.
                                                            
                       REID
The cavalry looks like they’re
moving.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Off to our left. Take some men
and protect the horses.
                                                            
Reid moves immediately. He grabs Tom by his shirt and pulls
him forward. Tom follows, and they head down the line of
wagons. Reid keeps glancing at the Mexican cavalry.

Then Reid stops at the end of the line of wagons.
                                                            
                       REID
You men, their dragoons will be
coming this way. We’ve got to
stop them.
                                                            
Already the Mexican cavalry are being decimated by
long-range fire from the American line, but many still are

68.

advancing toward the opening where the horses are corralled
by the river.

Tom finds protection behind a stump. He leans the still
unfired rifle in the direction of the approaching cavalry.
                                                            
                       REID
      (loudly)
Take ‘em down, fire.
                                                            
The side group of Americans fires, hitting the horses and
men in full stride toward their left. Tom zeros in on a
large man riding toward him. He aims in the center of the
mass of rider and animal flesh and fires. The recoil kicks
him back because it was not solidly on his shoulder. But
when he looks, the man and the horseman are down. He pulls
his pistol and fires again and again as the remainder of the
Mexican cavalry flee up into the sand hills, not back across
the bloody field.

Tom picks his rifle up again and quickly, smoothly reloads.
                                                            
                       REID
Tommy, get back to the colonel.
Tell him the left is secure for
now, but we’d better bring the
guns up.
                                                            
Tom quickly gets up. He has no horse so he runs toward the
colonel. As he walks he still hears individual firing but
not a sustained engagement.

As he approaches the colonel, he also is looking around for
his horse.
                                                            
                       REID
Captain Reid says the left is
secure but you better bring the
artillery up.
                                                            
Doniphan turns toward Tom.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
My thoughts exactly. Already sent
someone down the road to find the
guns and find out how long till
they can get here.
                                                            
                       TOM
Yes, sir.
                                                            
Tom looks around.
                                                            

69.

                       TOM
You seen my horse?
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Maybe it ran off with that white
one. Saw it jump right over the
wagon tongues and skedaddle right
out of here.

Get a horse.
                                                            
                       TOM
Yes, sir.
                                                            
Then Tom sees his horse by Ben as the scout is coming toward
Doniphan, horses in tow.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Ben, find out if these boys are
coming back. And I need to know
if they have reinforcements.
                                                            
Occasional shots still echo across the battlefield.
                                                            
 
EXT. LATER IN THE SAND HILLS ABOVE THE CAMP - DAY
                                                            
Tom trudges through the now bitterly cold day as the sun
draws down on the far side of the river.

He proceeds to the rise of a hill. In the distance four
Apache Indians leading several horses are sliding off toward
the brooding snow-capped mountains.

Then he looks down. There in the hollow of the trail are
two more Mexican dragoons lying dead. Two small arrows
protrude out of the back of one.
                                                            
                       BEN
Probably thought they did us a
favor.
                                                            
Tom descends the hill to where Ben has stopped. He
dismounts and inspects the men. Tom looks at the face of
the slim Mexican. The man has a moustache and so Tom turns
away.
                                                            
                       TOM
Arrows are so primitive don't you
think?
                                                            

70.

                       BEN
In a close fight, arrows and
hatchets are better than that
single-shot rifles and swords.
Indian gets off six, five shots
before a man can reload.
                                                            
Tom inspects the face of the other dead man.
                                                            
                       BEN
What you looking for?
                                                            
                       TOM
Don’t know. See if I know them I
guess.
                                                            
                       BEN
I swear, you Missouri boys are
crazy.
                                                            
                       TOM
Louisiana men aren’t much better.
                                                            
Tom remounts and they ride back up the hill. They continue
their patrol along the hillside to the broad river.

Tom can see where two mountain ranges come together. He
knew the river had to flow through there.
                                                            
                       TOM
The pass?
                                                            
                       BEN
Was here two years ago. The town
is on the other side, south of the
river.
                                                            
                       TOM
What’s beyond that?
                                                            

71.

                       BEN
Two hundred seventy miles of
nothing, till we get to Chihuahua
City, a big, nice town. They’ll
fight there yeah, with all they
got.

You see, General Wool is coming in
from the east and will join up
with us there. When we connect,
the war is over in the north, yes,
sir. And we can go home.
                                                            
 
INT. THE LIVINGROOM OF A QUIET HACIENDA IN EL PASO - NIGHT
                                                            
Alejandra is in common work clothes cleaning the dishes

(Tapping at a window)

She looks up and sees Enrique. She looks around, but nobody
is near. Then she goes to the back door and opens it, but
he does not come in.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Enrique, I thought you would never
come.
                                                            
She opens the door, and they embrace. He is somewhat aloof
though.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Are you okay?
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
Yes, I’m fine.

The Americanos will be here in the
morning, and there is something
that you must do—for me, and for
Mexico.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Anything, Enrique, anything.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
Do you remember the Americano,
Tomás? He is with them.
                                                            

72.

                       ALEJANDRA
Yes.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
We need information, mija, about
the plans of the Americanos, when
will they move south.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Yes.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
He will know when they will move.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
But, but we are to be married,
Enrique.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
A little talk, mija. It is very
important that we know. But if—
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Enrique!
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
I know, I know. But if you find
something out, see Friar
Sebastian. He will know what to
do.
                                                            
 
EXT. EL PASO DEL NORTE (EL PASO) - DAY
                                                            
El Paso del Norte is a pretty town, even in the middle of
winter. It is surrounded by grape vines and farm fields
that stretch down both banks of the rich, meandering river.

A fine boulevard begins at the portal of the church on the
low bluff above the bed of the river and is lined by shops
and homes for a mile.

As the American army enters the main boulevard, Doniphan
brings the column to a halt in front of the cathedral. The
priest, Friar Sebastian, stands at the top of the stairs
with two others of his order and many parishioners.

The people are quiet as Doniphan looks at them.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Why are they so quiet?
                                                            

73.

                       BEN
I think they’re afraid. Where
else would you go if you thought
you would die.
                                                            
Doniphan motions for the Mexican translator to come forward.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Mr. Rodriguez, translate for me.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
      (through the
       Translator)
(Loudly) Citizens of El Paso del
Norte, you have nothing to fear.
We shall stay here a while and
rest our horses and men and then
be gone. Please go about your
regular business; we have no
intention to harm anyone who does
not harm us.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
      (to Tom)
Did he translate okay?
                                                            
                       TOM
Yes, sir, he did just fine.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
What did he say about “molesting”?
                                                            
                       TOM
That mean “bother” in Spanish,
sir.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Oh, well, Good. So, Tom, while
Ben’s south scouting the road to
Chihuahua, I want you to find out
about Mr. Magoffin. Take a couple
guys with you and ask around.
                                                            
Ben smiles. He is inwardly delighted.
                                                            
                       BEN
I know you’re disappointed ‘bout
not going on another long ride.
                                                            
Tom smiles.
                                                            
 

74.

EXT. THE FRONT OF A HACIENDA - DAY
                                                            
Tom is knocking on the door of the large hacienda. Two men
are with him, holding the horses and warily looking around.

A young girl comes to the door. Tom looks at her in
disbelief. It is Rut. She smiles at him.
                                                            
                       TOM
How did you get here?
                                                            
                       RUT
With Alejandra. She’s here!
                                                            
                       TOM
Here? At the alcalde’s house?
                                                            
Rut nods yes as she lets Tom enter the house.
                                                            
 
INT. THE MAIN LIVING AREA OF THE HACIENDA - DAY
                                                            
Tom has his hat in his hand as he enters the nice living
room. He looks at the burning embers in the fireplace.

NOISE

Tom turns and sees the Alcalde entering the room.
                                                            
                       ALCALDE
Señor—
                                                            
                       TOM
Tomás, sir.
                                                            
                       ALCALDE
Si. Please be seated.
                                                            
They sit down, both on each side of the fire. Tom looks at
the Alcalde, a little surprised that he is so friendly.
                                                            
                       ALCALDE
So how may I help you…Tomás?
                                                            
                       TOM
We are looking for someone, sir, a
Mister James Magoffin. He came
this way before—
                                                            

75.

                       ALCALDE
Yes. He was here several weeks
ago. The Federales arrested him
as a spy and took him to Ciudad
Chihuahua.
                                                            
                       TOM
Was he okay or injured in any way?
                                                            
                       ALCALDE
Oh, no. Don Santiago was treated
very well in fact. I think it was
because he bought wine for himself
and his guards.
                                                            
The Alcalde laughs and Tom can’t help but smile.
                                                            
                       ALCALDE
I hear you know Alejandra?
                                                            
                       TOM
Yes, sir. We met in Santa Fe a
couple times.
                                                            
                       ALCALDE
She is here. Her mother went
south earlier. Let me go find
her.
                                                            
He stands and leaves the room.
                                                            
                       ALCALDE
      (voice from the
       other room)
Alejandra.
                                                            
Tom waits, and he is to be alone. Then a side door opens
and Alejandra appears. She is wearing a nice skirt and
seems to have a fresh, just washed appearance. She just
looks at him, hesitating to speak. He hesitates too.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
I, I thought you might have come
with them.
                                                            
                       TOM
Yes.
                                                            
Alejandra is puzzled because he does not speak. She waits,
but still nothing.
                                                            

76.

                       ALEJANDRA
Papa brought us down here because
my mama was afraid.
                                                            
                       TOM
And, and where is your papa now?
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Oh, he went south with Enrique and
mamá (she pauses as though she
just made a mistake), I think.

You sound like you’re
interrogating me. Are you Tom the
officer or Tomás my friend?
                                                            
                       TOM
Well, I am not an officer; that I
know. And I am your friend; that
I also know.
                                                            
They laugh gently together.
                                                            
                       ALCALDE
      (voice)
Alejandra.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
In a moment.
                                                            
She looks at Tom and smiles.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Well, Tomás, my friend, will I see
you again?
                                                            
Her eyes are strangely pleading.
                                                            
                       TOM
Well, I’ll have to see the Alcalde
again I am sure, so, well—
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
And me?
                                                            
                       TOM
Yes, I guess. I’d like that.
                                                            
                       ALCALDE
      (voice, more
       demanding)
Alejandra.
                                                            

77.

                       ALEJANDRA
Coming.

I take a walk by the river every
afternoon at siesta time. Maybe
then.
                                                            
She turns and walks out the door, lingering as she
reluctantly leaves the room.

The Alcalde is there.
                                                            
                       ALCALDE
You are welcome here any time,
Tomás. Mi casa es su casa.
                                                            
Tom heads for the door.
                                                            
                       TOM
Thank you, sir. I may need to
come over some more.
                                                            
                       ALCALDE
Please.
                                                            
 
EXT. THE OUTSIDE DOOR OF THE HOUSE - DAY
                                                            
As the door closes, Tom is in a daze, but his companions
guide him to the horses and quickly bring him back to
reality.
                                                            
                       TROOPER
Come on. We don’t want to be out
this far after dark.
                                                            
 
INT. THE SAME HACIENDA - DAY
                                                            
Alejandra and the Alcalde are looking through the shutters
watching Tom amd his two companions depart. Alejandra is
putting on an apron and then a scarf over her head.
                                                            
                       ALCALDE
He will be back, the bastardo.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Yes.
                                                            
She turns and looks down at the bed. A young man is lying

78.

there, bloody and seriously injured.

The Alcalde turns and looks too.
                                                            
                       ALCALDE
Bastardos.
                                                            
 
INT. UNDER THE EAVES OF A BUILDING, THE CAMP - NIGHT
                                                            
Tom enters the main company compound, under an overhang by
the side of a long building. Owens is sitting down cleaning
his sword by the glint of a bright fire.
                                                            
                       OWENS
How was the trip to the mayor’s?
                                                            
Tom has a satisfied half-grin, as though his mind is
somewhere else, somewhere pleasant. Owens notices.
                                                            
                       TOM
Alejandra was there.
                                                            
                       OWENS
The governor’s daughter? By
golly, some boys got all the luck.
                                                            
                       TOM
Yeah.
                                                            
Tom goes to his saddle in the corner by some blankets. He
lies down and dreamily looks at the soft fire.
                                                            
 
INT. MARIA’S SMALL RECEPTION ROOM IN THE SALON - NIGHT
                                                            
Maria is busy writing at a small desk when she hears a
knock.
                                                            
                       MAMA
Entra.
                                                            
The cook for the salon looks around the opened door.
                                                            
                       CONSUELA
An old beggar is at the back door.
He wants to see you.
                                                            
                       MARIA
Feed him in that patio like the
others.
                                                            

79.

                       CONSUELA
I tried but he insists. He is a
Mexican.
                                                            
                       MARIA
Very well, send him in.
                                                            
The Servant leaves and soon the stranger is at the door.
Maria looks up and she doesn’t recognize him at first, but
then she looks again. She smiles. It is Manuel in
disguise.

(CLOSEUP: FADE TO THE RECOGNITION IN HER EYES)

LATER – EVENING

Manuel and Maria are in bed together, obviously after a bout
of loving.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
God, it’s been so long since I’ve
felt this normal.
                                                            
                       MARIA
I feel, well, great too.
                                                            
She relaxes in his arms as they rest.
                                                            
                       MARIA
I was writing you when you, when
you interrupted me. There is a
crisis here, Manuel, and I don’t
know what to do.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
It’s okay. I’m here now, for a
while. Is it the money?
                                                            
                       MARIA
No. I loaned the Americanos
enough to go to spring.

Archuleta was here. He told
Consuela that the time will be
tomorrow. I think he means the
revolt. I was going to go to
Colonel Price.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
Do you have the names of those
Diego has been seeing?
                                                            

80.

She nods yes. Manuel kisses her forehead.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
I’m afraid our time, my love, is
over for now. Take the
information to the Americanos
tonight. Tell him their revolt is
on, and show him the names.

And thank you for not telling me
till now.
                                                            
 
EXT. AT THE PALACE OF THE GOVERNORS - NIGHT
                                                            
Maria is in front of the palace door with the sentries. They
open the door for her and she enters.
                                                            
 
INT. THE MAIN OFFICE - NIGHT
                                                            
Colonel Price stands up as Maria enters the room. He is
very attentive as she talks, as though he is taking orders
from her.
                                                            
                       MARIA
A message from our friend,
Colonel. The revolt is on. They
plan to kill all the Americanos
and those who have cooperated with
you this night or tomorrow.
                                                            
Camera pans out (silence as another man enters the room. He
talks to Price, salutes and then leaves. Price is taking
notes.
                                                            
 
INT. AN UPSTAIRS ROOM IN SANTA FE - NIGHT
                                                            
ARCHULETA is asleep in his upstairs room when he hears the
banging in of a door downstairs and loud American voices.
Instantly he rises, grabs just his coat, and escapes through
a window and across the roof.

As the American soldiers enter the upper room, they hear him
riding off in the darkness.

Price is there and looks out the window.
                                                            

81.

                       PRICE
Get the others in town and send
word to Governor Bent in Taos.
                                                            
FADE TO BLACK

BLACK SCREEN

(Overlay) The home of Governor Bent – Taos
                                                            
 
EXT. GOVERNOR BENT’S HOME IN TAOS - NIGHT
                                                            
Many Indians and Spaniards surround the front entrance of
the new territorial governor’s home, Charles Bent.

He opens the door and comes out to the front porch to
confront the crowd with torches. He looks around and sees
his two bodyguards dead at the sides of the front door. Then
he looks into the menacing eyes of TOMASITO, the Indian.
                                                            
                       TOMASITO
Our Americanos have not protected
us, though they promised to. They
lied. We do not need them or you
anymore.
                                                            
The Indians surround Bent and shake him violently. They
throw him to the ground but he stands back up.
                                                            
                       BENT
You would betray the best help for
our people. For what?
                                                            
                       TOMASITO
For freedom.
                                                            
The crowd comes up on Bent and he disappears under their
clubs and hatchets. One Indian hacks down with a machete.

Bent’s head is raised in the air, severed from the body, as
the focus of the camera retreats into the night.
                                                            
 
INT. THE FLAT-ROOFED ADOBE BARN IN EL PASO - DAY
                                                            
Tom hurries on a crisp day toward and then into the flat
adobe building. It is a convening of the principal officers
in the American army and their entourage. Doniphan is at

82.

one end in a slight elevated area.

Tom sees Ben and Owens and goes to them. Ben is leaning
against a wagon.

Doniphan raises his hands, quietening the crowd. Behind him
is a large map of the area, showing Santa Fe and down the
river and then to Chihuahua City.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
News is all over town about the
revolt up north. No doubt about
it, it puts us in a peculiar
position and I thought you should
know.

The revolt was stopped in Santa Fe
by Colonel Price. But then after
that Indians killed Governor Bent
and several in the new
administration in Taos. Several
troopers have died too, but the
resistance has been isolated.
Colonel Price is going to Taos now
with three companies of dragoons.
That Mormon battalion you’ve heard
about is finally reinforcing him.
                                                            
                       TROOPER
Does that mean we’ll go back,
Colonel?
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
I don’t think there’s a need. But
we will stay here another week or
two just to see. So fatten your
horses and calm the men.

General Wool is still scheduled to
beat us there. We’ve heard
nothing to tell us different.
                                                            
He points to the map and El Paso.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
We’ve got a job to do, boys, and
that is to go get that city
(pointing) and end this thing.
                                                            
 

83.

EXT. BY THE RIVER ON A GRASSY SLOPE - DAY
                                                            
The grass is yellow and dead and the tree above them is
devoid of most its leaves, but under that large oak tree by
the river, Tom is squatting down while Alejandra sits on a
log. They are looking at the quiet river. The day is
comfortable despite being winter.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
You’re late today.
                                                            
                       TOM
Meeting.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
I made the salsa myself and the
tortilla chips.
                                                            
Tom begins to eat on the snacks. He chokes a little.
                                                            
                       TOM
It’s hot.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
I’m sorry.
                                                            
She comes off her tree stump to him and the blanket and
quickly hands him a glass of water.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Is it too hot?
                                                            
                       TOM
      (choking and
       fanning himself)
No, well, hot but okay. I’ll just
use less till I get used to it.
                                                            
Alejandra takes some of the salsa. She eats it but doesn’t
get burned out.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
It is a little too hot.
                                                            
He tries again, but again it is hot and he goes for the
water. When he stops drinking they laugh together.
                                                            
                       TOM
Ben could do it. I’ve seen him
eat jalapeñas like strawberries,
and I still can’t get through one.
                                                            

84.

Alejandra looks at him and he notices her staring but says
nothing.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Tom, will I see you again, I mean,
after all this?
                                                            
                       TOM
Would you like to?
                                                            
Alejandra does not answer, but looks down.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
I don’t know. I think I would
like to. But when will that be.
                                                            
She looks up and their eyes meet.
                                                            
                       TOM
Well, we’ll be here for at least a
couple weeks now. After that I
can’t say. But I do want to come
here again, to see you.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
At least we have two weeks then,
Tomás, two weeks for me to find
out exactly how you like your
salsa.
                                                            
 
EXT. IN FRONT OF THE TAOS MISSION - DAY
                                                            
The American soldiers have finally driven the Indian
resistance out of the pueblo buildings and into the
thick-walled church nearby. The troopers have surrounded
the building and are ready for any more resistance.

An American dragoon lieutenant is riding back from the front
of the large mission. A stream of women and children are
leaving the mission.

Tomasito is armed and looking at the man as he goes to the
US lines and to Colonel Price. He steps back to the
entrance and raises his hands. Then the door closes in
front of him.
                                                            
                       LIEUTENANT
That should be the last of the
women and children. But I saw
some women still in the church.
                                                            

85.

                       PRICE
How many men in there?
                                                            
                       LIEUTENANT
Three, four hundred. I don’t
think they’ll surrender either.
They got supplies. It’ll take us
a month.
                                                            
                       PRICE
No, not that long.
                                                            
Price and the lieutenant go back to the US defences. Price
looks over at the four howitzers trained on the building.
                                                            
                       PRICE
Artillery (he raises his hand and
then drops it), fire.
                                                            
CANNONS FIRE AND RECOIL, ARE RELOADED AND FIRE AGAIN AND
AGAIN.

The sound is deafening and incessant as the church building
takes hit after hit from the point-blank shooting. The
firing continues even as the walls crumble and the roof
collapses. Parts of the back of the building are ablaze,
but still the guns roar.

Several men try to escape, but they are quickly shot down by
the troopers.

In twenty minutes the resistance is over, the rebellion
crushed.
                                                            
 
EXT. IN EL PASO BY THE HORSE CORRAL BY THE RIVER - DAY
                                                            
(CAMERA CLOSEUP) Small buds of green grass in the field.

Tom looks at the small green offerings of an early spring.
Then he looks up and sees Ben coming into camp with several
men in his party.
                                                            
                       BEN
Tommy, where’s the colonel.
                                                            

86.

                       TOM
      (pointing toward a
       low building)
At the barracks in town. I’ll
show you. Your guys can bunk over
there at that place
                                                            
 
INT. IN A FORMER POLICE OFFICE - DAY
                                                            
Doniphan, Reid, and Tom are in the room listening as Ben
makes his report
                                                            
                       BEN
They’ve got good fortifications
about ten miles south of town.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
And troops?
                                                            
                       BEN
At least a thousand cavalry and a
lot more infantry than that. And
a lot of these guys are regulars,
colonel.
                                                            
                       REID
Any sign of General Wool?
                                                            
                       BEN
Went up the trail to’rd Saltillo a
ways, but nothing. Not even
Mexican patrols out there.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Damn. Well, I was hoping for
help. But we still got to go.
We’ve received no orders to do
otherwise.
                                                            
 
EXT. A FIELD OUTSIDE CHIHUAHUA CITY - DAY
                                                            
Enrique is on foot showing one peon how to shoot while
others watch. He has the man down on the ground and is
showing him how to aim.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
Fuego.
                                                            
The gun does not fire, but the man goes BOOM. The men
behind him clap their hands, but Enrique looks exasperated.

87.


He sees the general and his entourage on horseback
inspecting the men on the field. Immediately he rises and
walks toward the line officers.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
General.
                                                            
Enrique salutes as the general looks down at him. The
general is anxious to go elsewhere, but he stops.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
General, there is no powder to
practice with, and only one man in
ten has a rifle.
                                                            
                       GENERAL
I know, Captain, but it cannot be
helped. We are doing the best we
can.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
But, general.
                                                            
                       GENERAL
The professionals have the rifles.
I shall be placing them at the
main line.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
With respect, general. We lost
New Mexico because the people had
no rifles.
                                                            
                       GENERAL
You are such a pessimist, Captain.
Perhaps that is why you lost New
Mexico.

It is all we can provide. Do the
best you can.
                                                            
The general goads his horse and he rides off.

Enrique is left watching the departing horsemen, decked in
their beautiful uniforms. A peon is next to Enrique.
                                                            
                       PEON
They put you with us because of
Nuevomejico I think.
                                                            

88.

                       ENRIQUE
They are afraid of what might
happen if you had weapons.
                                                            
                       PEON
Perhaps, patrón.
                                                            
                       ENRIQUE
And they don’t seem to care.
                                                            
                       PEON
Maybe so, capitán. But we will
fight­for you and for Mejico.
                                                            
 
EXT. BY THE RIVER AGAIN - DAY
                                                            
Tom and Alejandra are both sitting on a blanket below the
tall tree. It is still winter and the grass is brown, but
spring buds are beginning to make their way onto the trees
and the bushes around the clearing.

Despite a coolness in the air, Alejandra has a low-cut
blouse on. She touches her breast, unconsciously trying to
cover them, and looks down.
                                                            
                       TOM
This is a beautiful valley.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Yes, but not as beautiful as New
Mexico could be if it weren’t for
all the killing.

                                                            
                       TOM
Are you going back, after the war
I mean?
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
I hope so. Dad wants to. But
mom, well, she hates New Mexico.
She wants to go to the districto
and stay there.
                                                            
                       TOM
I don’t blame her.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Are you going there when, when
this thing is over?
                                                            

89.

                       TOM
I want to, if I have reason.
                                                            
Alejandra looks at him, but his eyes are looking over the
valley.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Life needs reasons, doesn’t it?
                                                            
She breaths deeply.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Tom—
                                                            
She pauses. Tom looks up.
                                                            
                       TOM
It won’t be forever. In fact,
today may be our last time to
see each other for a long
time.
                                                            
Alejandra is shocked.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Today? But you haven’t tasted my
enchiladas. You haven’t—
                                                            
                       TOM
I just found out myself. We’ll be
gone in two days, you know,
down south.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
But it is so dangerous. I’m
afraid.
                                                            
                       TOM
I’ve got to go. I’ll see you
again if I can, but, well—
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
I know.
                                                            
                       TOM
Alejandra.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Yes?
                                                            
                       TOM
Nothing.
                                                            

90.

He starts to leave.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Tomás . . . Promise me, promise
me you will live; promise me.
                                                            
Tom shakes his head yes. He smiles slyly. As he leaves, he
passes the Alcalde coming down the hill toward Alejandra.The
Alcalde nods to Tom and smiles as they pass.

He stands beside Alejandra as they watch him leave.
                                                            
                       ALCALDE
What did the bastarde tell you?
                                                            
Alejandra is not happy. She has tears in her eyes.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
They are leaving soon, in two days
I think. If he doesn’t show
tomorrow, it is two days.

They are going south.
                                                            
                       ALCALDE
When they leave, we will cut their
supplies. They will be trapped
deep in our country.

They will all die.
                                                            
Alejandra cries some more and then starts up the hill.
                                                            
                       ALCALDE
You didn’t fall for the bastarde,
did you?
                                                            
Alejandra shakes her head no as she continues toward the
hacienda.
                                                            
 
INT. DONIPHAN’S HEADQUARTERS IN THE BARN - DAY
                                                            
Tom enters the barn as Doniphan is speaking. He sees Owens
and goes to him.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Say good bye to the easy life,
boys. We’re on the trail
again.
                                                            

91.

                       OWENS
It’s official, boy. You and Ben
are out of here tonight so
nobody can see.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Try not to make our going too
obvious. We don’t want to
give away more secrets than we
need.
                                                            
Tom listens but seems troubled. He looks around at the
officers present.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Remember, all our lives are on the
line. They less they know the
better.
                                                            
The group is breaking up, going their own ways. Tom looks
at Owens.
                                                            
                       TOM
Mr. Owens, I got a problem.
                                                            
                       OWENS
You fallen for that little girl?
You don’t want to leave.
Well—
                                                            
Tom nods in agreement but then shakes his head no.
                                                            
                       TOM
It’s something else. I got to see
the colonel.
                                                            
                       OWENS
The colonel. Well, no time like
the present.
                                                            
They approach Doniphan while he is talking to Captain Reid.
Tom and Owens wait while they finish their conversation.
                                                            
                       OWENS
Colonel, the boy’s got something
for you.
                                                            
Doniphan turns to Tom. Tom hesitates.
                                                            
                       TOM
It’s kind of private.
                                                            

92.

                       DONIPHAN
Well hell, boy, this is private.
                                                            
He pauses and then motions for them to go on the far side of
a wagon parked indoors for repairs. Owens is at the side of
the wagon listening.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Now what is it?
                                                            
                       TOM
You know I go to the Alcalde’s
house every afternoon.
                                                            
Doniphan nods in agreement.
                                                            
                       TOM
You may not know that Alejandra,
Governor Armijo’s daughter, is
there.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
I know that. Tell me something I
don’t know.
                                                            
                       TOM
And I’ve been seeing her.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
I know that.
                                                            
                       TOM
And I told her we’ll be going in a
day or two.
                                                            
Doniphan pauses and thinks. He does not seem angered.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Anything else.
                                                            
                       TOM
That we were going south.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Is that all?
                                                            
Tom nodsin agreement.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Well hello, every whore in town
already knows that.
                                                            

93.

Doniphan puts his hand on Tom’s shoulder. He wants to smile
but doesn’t.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
You go on. I thought you were
going to tell me something I
didn’t know. Like- Well, did you
have a good time with her?
                                                            
Tom looks up at the colonel embarrassed.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
You go on. What’s done is done.
Didn’t think I could keep it a
secret anyway.
                                                            
Tom walks from behind the wagon. Owens comes to him. He is
relieved.
                                                            
                       OWENS
You look better.
                                                            
                       TOM
I thought he might shoot somebody.
Isn’t that what they do with
spies?
                                                            
                       OWENS
Shoot everybody in town is a spy,
boy. God, it’s Mexico.

By the way, did you get any, uh,
free loving out of all this?
                                                            
 
EXT. ON THE TRAIL TO CHIHUAHUA CITY - NIGHT
                                                            
A LINE OF FIRE IN THE DISTANCE.

On the horizon a line of wildfire is kicking up. It
crosses all the way across the skyline. In the darkness
Tom and Ben are looking at it.
                                                            
                       TOM
It’s coming our way.
                                                            
                       BEN
Yep, and fast.
                                                            
MINUTES LATER

94.


Tom is riding hard into the darkened American camp.
The men are already leaning out of the wagons and saddling
their horses as they too look toward the horizon.

Tom reins in in front of Doniphan.
                                                            
                       TOM
Brush fire coming right at us.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
My God.
                                                            
                       TOM
There’s a big flat lake about a
mile back, over there.
                                                            
Ben finally arrives. He pulls up to Doniphan too.
                                                            
                       BEN
More like two miles. But it’s
only a few inches deep.
That’s our only out.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Captain. All commands. Let’s run
like the wind.
                                                            
A melee of hurry men, animals and wagons are dashing through
the night across the flat land as the fire rages behind
them.

It is desperate. Stragglers on foot are picked up by
lagging horsemen as the fire storm swarms dangerously close
to the retreating army.

The flames become higher and higher behind them. But then
the water suddenly appears below their feet as all the
wagons and men thunder into the shallow water.

Doniphan waves for the men to slow down. They all look
back as the flames lick at the shoreline like a harbinger
of death. It growls but dies down.
                                                            

95.

                       DONIPHAN
We’ll be safe here—if that devil
fire doesn’t walk on water
that is.

Ben, find us a way out of this
when you can. We’ve got a
town to take.
                                                            
 
EXT. THE MEXICAN LINES - DAY
                                                            
(MEXICAN BUGLES SOUND)

PAN DOWN TO THE ENTRENCHED MEXICAN ARMY

Several thousand well-armed Mexicans are entrenched on a
broad hill below the billowing banner of Mexico. Behind
them cannon are pointed outward and the men are ready. The
Mexicans here are uniformed in bright blue pants and
blazers trimmed in red.

The general and his entourage are on horses behind the main
breastworks, looking silently toward the Americans far
away.

The defensive works are sound and well-engineered for a
proper defence. Below the hill and to their right another
line of trenches guard the far slope, with a fresh green
field between them. Defending these works is Enrique and
the peons of his regiment, Mexican farmers armed with
hatchets, machetes and shovels. A few have firearms.
                                                            
 
EXT. THE MEXICAN RIGHT FLANK TRENCHES - DAY
                                                            
ENRIQUE looks toward the generals and the Mexican banners.
And then he looks down the rows of his own men as they
stand in the trenches, poorly armed but just as ready to
give battle for their homeland. He too has a battery of
cannon, although it is further behind him than he would
like.

Enrique looks to his right, across the big field that marks
the low valley between them and the generals. He sees in
the distance the approaching American cavalry spreading
toward the generals.
                                                            

96.

                       ENRIQUE
      (shouting in
       Spanish)
Men of Mexico: The Americanos
will attack the high ground over
there first. Then they will come
across the stream and the road for
us. We must be ready.
                                                            
His men respond loudly, and they raise what weapons they
have.
                                                            
 
EXT. THE AMERICAN COLUMN - DAY
                                                            
They are advancing across the huge flat field in a broad
presentation, their banners fluttering in the bright day.

Tom rides close behind Doniphan and the officers.

(Shouting from the Mexican camp)
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
They seem excited.
                                                            
Doniphan looks around and signals Ben to approach. Tom
follows him.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Are you sure?
                                                            
                       BEN
Yes, sir, over five thousand.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
And still no General Wool. Damn.
                                                            
                       REID
There’s At least two thousand in
front of us, another two
thousand for sure to our left, and
probably a thousand or so
dragoons in front masking
their lines.
                                                            
                       OWENS
And a thousand of us.
                                                            
Doniphan stops. He gazes at the enemy lines.
                                                            

97.

                       DONIPHAN
We’ll attack the enemy left,
gentlemen, overrun the hill.
With the high ground gone, the
enemy on our left should fall
back.

Captain Weightman, deploy your
howitzers there now. Reid
will demonstrate in front of you.
I need you to stop their
artillery from ripping us up
till we get to their
trenches.
                                                            
                       WEIGHTMAN
Yes, sir.
                                                            
The young officer immediately moves off. As Doniphan and
then men wait, Weightman’s artillery races by them and
begins deployment
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Circle the wagons in a defensive
camp here, Just in case their
dragoons get loose.

Major Owens, your teamsters
will be in reserve here. We’ll
engage the hill. Your boys are
our reserve.
                                                            
(Cannon fire from the American guns)

Tom and his horse are suddenly startled by the thunderous
opening of the battle.

Tom looks at the enemy hill and the cavalry below. The
accurate guns of Weightman are ripping holes through their
ranks. The other American battery is shelling the gunson
the hill above the cavalry. It is clear the American guns
are effective. Mexican artillery is firing, but its range
is short, churning up the field in front of them.

The thunder continues till the enemy guns are no longer
firing. But the American guns begin plastering the trench
works.

The soldiers behind Doniphan are dismounted. They are
shooting as they advance toward the hill. A Mexican

98.

cavalry charge is mercilessly cut to pieces by the Missouri
riflemen.
                                                            
                       CAPTAIN PARSONS
Permission to charge the redoubts,
colonel.
                                                            
Doniphan raises his sword.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Audacity’s the game, boys. Strike
hard, strike fast. Don’t give
them a chance to think or to
regroup.

Charge!
                                                            

99.

Immediately the American line advances. Most of the men are
variously dressed, few with crisp uniforms. Even the West
Point officers have only parts of their uniforms. But the
men are charging together, shouting, running up the hill
toward the Mexican trenchworks.

Various puffs of white smoke from rifle fire come from the
enemy trenches in a ragged volley of fire, but it is not
accurate or in great volume. One man goes down, but the
rest continue, oblivious of their fallen comrade as the
approach the breastworks.

The ensuing fight in the trenches is fierce, but lopsided.
The American soldiers use rifles and swords and pistols to
quickly subdue the first line of defence and send the
remnant up the hill in a headlong flight.

The Mexican soldiers on foot and trying to resist, but
they too are no match for the American hatchets and the
fierce butchery that ensues.

In the melee Captain Weightman brings up two cannon to the
base of the hill and begins a rapid fire toward the top,
taking out other defensive works as the Americans begin to
swarm up the hill toward the Mexican flag at the top.

Tom looks to his left and sees a cannon shell blasting
through the American ranks, killing one man outright and
injuring several more. The fire is coming from the smaller
battery to their left, above the far enemy lines.

At the same time a column of Mexican dragoons appear
between the two defenceworks, but the company to Doniphan’s
left quickly hit the enemy at long range, taking down many
before they come even close. The cavalry fall back in
disorder.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
Tommy. Get to Owens. Tell him to
take his two companies and
charge those guns and take
them out. Break through their
line and scatter those men.
                                                            
Tom looks up the hill as he turns his horse. He sees
Americans at the top, amidst the enemy guns. Then he
immediately races off. As he passes the American guns,
Emory is there retraining four of the cannon to the left in
response to the enemy fire.
                                                            
 

100.

EXT. OWENS’ DEFENSES AND A RAGGED GROUP OF CAVALRY - DAY
                                                            
Tom is there talking to Owens and pointing toward the enemy
lines.
                                                            
                       TOM
Colonel says for your two
companies to take the enemy
guns there.
                                                            
                       OWENS
Right.
                                                            
Owens hastily goes out in front of his soldiers. But they
are not at all ready for a charge, for they are distracted
by the fighting on the hill to their right.

Tom notices Owens is shouting, but he cannot hear what he
is saying. He does see him unsheathe his sword and begin
advancing toward the enemy to their left. Some of the men
follow, but only a few.
                                                            
                       OWENS
Give it to them, boys. They can’t
withstand us.
                                                            
But only two men are with him as he leads his horse on a
trot toward the enemy lines. He is not looking back.
                                                            
                       TOM
Charge, men. Let’s go, men. Don’t
let the major down.
                                                            
Ben looks and sees Captain Reid thundering toward him. He
reins his horse in before the teamsters and traders.
                                                            
                       REID
Slow him down.
                                                            
Tom nods and immediately heads off into the dust toward the
enemy lines, following where he thinks Owens and his two
men are.

As he nears the enemy entrenchments, he sees the major
riding along the line, shooting. The other two men are not
around.
                                                            
                       TOM
Mr. Owens.
                                                            

101.

But even as Tom speaks, Owens’ horse is hit by rifle fire
and he and the horse go down. Mexicans are coming over the
wall toward the major and toward him armed with machetes.

Tom fires and stops one, but then he sees a man aiming a
rifle and shooting at him. Then he too is kicked from his
horse by the impact of the bullet on his horse and falls.

His left hand is injured and bleeding, and he is trapped
under his fallen horse. He shoots again, stopping another
man with a hatchet. In the smoke he looks over and sees the
Mexican men hacking at Owens with their machetes.

Another Mexican comes toward him, and he shoots again. But
then he is out of bullets.

At this time he looks toward the American lines as horseman
after horseman flashes by him and over the enemy
entrenchments. Again the fighting is fierce, but he can do
nothing since his horse has fallen on his leg, trapping him
below the enemy breastworks.

He looks again toward Owens, but all he sees is the top of
the man’s sandy haired head lying in the dirt.
                                                            
                       TOM
Mr. Owens.
                                                            
 
EXT. ABOVE THE MEXICAN LINE - DAY
                                                            
ENRIQUE sees the breakthrough coming toward him. As the
horsemen charge through his men, he sees the American
sabres and rifles and pistols cutting his men down. He
shoots one American but then two others sweep by him with
their swords. He falls, cut by the flashing horsemen as
they race by.

Enrique is on his knees and looks toward the far hill. The
Mexican flag has fallen. He looks down and keels over,
severely injured.
                                                            
 
EXT. THE BACK YARD OF THE HACIENDA IN EL PASO - DAY
                                                            
In the middle of the day ALEJANDRA hanging wet clothes in
the back yard. Suddenly she is startled, as if struck
inside cold, chilling wind with an echo of depression and
fear. She looks instinctively toward the south, toward
Chihuahua.


102.

She senses the presence of a man and pauses. In the far
horizon she thinks she sees an image of someone, someone
speaking to her, but he is too far off to hear clearly.
Then the impression, the phantom, disappears.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Oooh. Ó Dios, mi Dios.
                                                            
She begins to pray as she sits there in the cool, still
day.
                                                            
 
EXT. THE PLAZE, IN FRONT OF THE GRAND CATHEDRAL - DAY
                                                            
Tom is seated on a chair on the veranda of a large hotel.
His left arm is bandaged.

Ben walks out of the door and to Tom.
                                                            
                       BEN
Come on, back to work. We need
some translating. That
captain we met in Santa Fe is
in the hospital and we need to see
what he knows.

                                                            
                       TOM
You mean Enrique?
                                                            
                       BEN
Come on.
                                                            
Tom immediately gets up and grabs his coat as they re enter
the hotel. He is limping as well as he goes down the
hallway to the stairs.
                                                            
 
EXT. IN THE AVENUE - DAY
                                                            
Tom gingerly mounts his horse. Ben waits for him, and then
they trot down the busy street. They are accompanies by
two other troopers. They pass the front of the busy
cathedral and down a side street.

CUT TO:

FURTHER DOWN THE STREET

They stop at a large, low building.

103.


Tom and Ben dismount. A trooper take’s the reins of the
two scouts and they enter the door of the building.
                                                            
 
INT. THE MEXICAN HOSPITAL - DAY
                                                            
A doctor is leading them into the interior of the hospital.
The room falls silent as Tom and Ben pass through the rows
of seriously injured Mexicans. They just stare at the
intruders. They enter a back room, a private room.

Enrique is lying motionless on a bed. He does not even
seem to notice him or Ben. Tom is quiet, as if
embarrassed, as he studies the motionless body.
Suddenly a voice shakes him from his stupor, a surprising
voice.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
He’s dead. Just a few minutes
ago, as you were coming.
                                                            
Tom looks at Manuel questioning, but Ben is not at all
surprised.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
He wanted to talk to you. Perhaps
he is still here now, I don’t
know.
                                                            
                       TOM
Did he know about me?
                                                            
                       MANUEL
Yes.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
And you too?
                                                            
                       MANUEL
Yes, everything.
                                                            
                       TOM
I’m sorry.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
No need to be sorry. Life is that
way. It takes us where we do
not expect it. When life
changes, we change.
                                                            

104.

                       TOM
Yes, I guess it does.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
I think that he would have told
you that he doesn’t mind now
that, now that he knows God
has made the final decision.
                                                            
                       TOM
Mind. Mind what?
                                                            
                       MANUEL
Everything.
                                                            
                       TOM
But will she mind?
                                                            
                       MANUEL
My daughter? I don’t know.
                                                            
 
INT. DONIPHAN’S OPULENT OFFICE IN THE REAL PALACE - DAY
                                                            
Doniphan has just been listening to Tom.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
We’ve got our orders. We’re to
march to General Wool. It
seems we have to go to him.

And you want me to free you
from your obligation to the
government?
                                                            
                       TOM
Yes, sir.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
So you can go back to some girl
whose boyfriend we just
killed?
                                                            
Tom nods.
                                                            
                       BEN
It ain’t like he’s all healthy,
colonel.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
If I release you, you’ll lose your
pay.
                                                            

105.

                       BEN
Hell, we ain’t been paid in a
year.
                                                            
Doniphan shrugs in agreement. He pauses, thinking.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
But it’ll be good when it comes.

Okay, but I ain’t releasing
you from the army from another
two months, till our enlistment
is up. Damned if I’m not
going to pay you boys. You
guys can take dispatches back
to Santa Fe.
                                                            
                       BEN
Thanks, colonel.
                                                            
They start to leave.
                                                            
                       DONIPHAN
It’ll be dangerous, boys.
                                                            
                       BEN
Colonel, we’ve been living on
dangerous ever since we met
you.
                                                            
Doniphan laughs as they leave.
                                                            
CLOSEUP OF DONIPHAN

He watches them leave, a concerned look on his face. He
walks to the open veranda and watches them as they leave
the building. Ben and Tom mount their horses, Tom still
shaky. He touches the window as they leave, as though in
prayerful and tender contemplation.
                                                            
 
EXT. SPRING BY THE RIVER AND THE LITTLE ALCOVE - DAY
                                                            
In the little alcove where Alejandra and Tom would meet in
El Paso, the plants are just beginning to bud and the grass
is hinting at green as the river flows full and rich
through the broad fields of new growth.

Alejandra is sitting on the tree stump, her head down, and
Tom is next to her, leaning toward her. She is crying.
                                                            

106.

                       TOM
So that’s it. He died before I
could see him. But he was a
great man.
                                                            
Tom pauses. He is holding his hat in his right hand. His
arm is still bandaged. He looks down, not knowing what to
do. Then he moves to get up and leave.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Are you going to leave me too?
                                                            
Tom pauses, shocked.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
On the day of the battle I saw
you. I didn’t see him; I saw
you. I was worried about you.

And now, Tomás, will you leave
me too?
                                                            
Tom looks at her and their eyes meet in a serious, forgiving
gaze.
                                                            
                       TOM
Do you really want this broken
down gringo?
                                                            
Alejandra just shakes her head yes. Then they embrace, both
crying, both shaking as if embracing the portal of a new
world.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Yes…with all my heart.
                                                            
 
EXT. ON A HILL IN FAR NORTHERN NEW MEXICO - DAY
                                                            
(CLOSEUP OF THE FACE OF MANUEL) He is smiling, as if much
relieved.

Manuel is happy as he looks out over the great green valley
and the meadow. Aspen and pine trees crowd the far tree
line and the lush, thick grass blows gently in the breeze.

PAN BACK TO REVEAL TOM AND ALEJANDRA ON HORSES
                                                            
                       MANUEL
This is ours, deeded to us by your
American law.
                                                            

107.

                       TOM
Our law.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
Yes, our law.
                                                            
They watch the Mexican caballeros drive cattle down into the
lush valley and toward the far stream.
                                                            
                       MANUEL
It is yours too.
                                                            
Behind them Doña Maria is by the wagons. She is signalling
to them.
                                                            
                       MARIA
Manuel.
                                                            
Manuel looks at Tom and then at Alejandra. She is smiling
and says nothing.
                                                            
                       TOM
It is a new land, a beautiful land
full of surprises and wonder.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
I think so. But a cruel land.
                                                            
                       TOM
Yes, but perhaps no more.
                                                            
PAN BACK TO THE A PANORAMA OF MOUNTAINS AND FOREST
                                                            
(Screen overlay)

In March of 1847 the one thousand man army composed mostly
of Missouri Volunteers marched to the Gulf of Mexico. There
they were shipped back home via New Orleans, thus completing
a 3600 mile march through hostile territory, the longest
such march in the annals of US arms.

In 1848 the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the
Mexican-American War and solidified the hold of the United
State on what was to become the great American Southwest.
And after thirty more years of sporadic Indian wars, the
land finally had peace.

On January 6, 1912, New Mexico became the official 47th
state in the United States of America.

______


108.


Captain John W. Reid
Was killed in action against the Apache Indians outside
Chihuahua City in 1847.

Colonel Diego Archuleta
Stayed on in New Mexico and became a political figure in the
state. In 1864 he became the first Hispanic Brigadier
General for the Untied States. He commanded the New Mexico
militia for the Union during the Civil War.

Colonel Alexander Doniphan
Returned to law practice at Richmond, Mo. He opposed
secession and favored neutrality for Missouri in 1861.
Although offered high command by the Union, he took no
active part in the Civil War

Samuel Owens
Died at the battle of Sacramento, just south of Chihuahua
City in 1847.

Maria Gertrudes Barcelo, “La Tules”
Privately loaned the US Army large amounts of money during
the occupation. She gave up the salon business after the
war and retired somewhere in the northern part of the state
of New Mexico. She died in 1854.

Manuel Armijo
Was cleared of the accusation of treason in Mexico after a
trial. He returned to New Mexico without his wife. Nothing
is noted of him after that.
                                                            


THE END


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