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The Voyage South Part 2

Script By: Matthew Bissonnette
Historical fiction



Part 2 of the Voyage South.


Submitted:Oct 15, 2013    Reads: 0    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


ext. lake dusk

A gigantic body of water as the blood red sun sinks beneath the Western Horizon. Grassy fields line the shore in the distance as a silver canoe heads south. Fletcher is sitting in the back and rowing as Louis lays in front facing Fletcher, one of Louis's leg's rests upon the other. Louis is smiling when Fletcher looks and frowns at him.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Problem partner?

FLETCHER HARRISON

Lafleur, I am not your partner. We just are stuck working together. And yes I have a problem.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

What is it friend?

FLETCHER HARRISON

I have been rowing all day, all you have been doing is looking at the sky and talking.

Louis laughs.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Fletcher, you row the next hundred miles. I got the hundred after that.

Fletcher shakes his head.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Will be in American territory late tomorrow maybe, or the day after. But we'll stick farther out from shore during the day so we won't be noticed.

Louis starts shaking his foot.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Well, since we will be spending a few weeks together, maybe we should get to know each other a little.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I guess since we are now on this voyage together, we should understand each other.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

You told the commander you needed the money. Why?

FLETCHER HARRISON

I spend ten months of the year away from my wife, if we succeed, then we will never have to be apart again.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

So during those ten months, how many woman do you spend the night with you can?

Fletcher seems offended.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I would never be with another woman.

Louis looks at Fletcher.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

You don't pass the time by being with men, because that is just wrong.

Fletcher scowls at Louis.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

It's not animals. I once spent a year and a half mostly alone in the wilderness, by the end I saw a beaver that was looking pretty attractive.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I would never be unfaithful to my wife.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Wow, that is really sentimental.

FLETCHER HARRISON

My father told me once a man finds the woman he is meant to be with, then he should be faithful to her.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

My Dad once said to me, Louis, you only live once and you really don't want to be stuck with one woman all your life.

FLETCHER HARRISON

My father also said that even if you can be with every woman in the world, it means nothing if you let the right one get away.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Friend, this is going to be one preachy voyage is it not it?

Fletcher frowns and Louis.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Well since we got several weeks of boredom ahead. Why don't you tell me a story about this wife of yours?

FLETCHER HARRISON

I'm sure it would not interest you Lafleur.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Your right, but we got nothing better to do.

Fletcher shakes his head as the scene dissolves and a flashback begins.

Fletcher's flashback

The area where Fletcher's home will be. Now there is a foundation of logs and Fletcher, now in his early twenties and not wearing a shirt, struggles to position a large log upright.

Fletcher's narration

I loved this girl, Emily, I had known since we where kids. My father always told me a man will build a home for the woman he loves before he can marry her.

Now Fletcher is working on the roof. The log walls of the home are now erected and he sits on a cross beam on the roof as he places a wooden piece of ceiling. He stops and wipes the sweat from his brow.

FLETCHER'S NARRATION

Took me almost three months to build that home. But as I worked, I could just think about the day me and Emily would share it as man and wife.

Now Fletcher is on the partly constructed porch as he uses a hammer to nail boards down.

FLETCHER'S NARRATION

And then came the day I finished.

Fletcher is leading the younger Emily towards the finished home, she is covering her eyes. Then she uncovers her eyes and see's the cabin, then turns and holds Fletcher as they both smile.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Then I asked her to marry me.

The flashback ends with Fletcher and Emily standing in a small stone church in front of a priest. He has on his leather outfit and she has on a blue dress. Then then kiss and the scene dissolves.

ext. lake moments later

Fletcher continues to row as Louis looks at him.

FLETCHER HARRISON

And I have love her ever since.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Sweet story.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Can I ask you something Lafleur?

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Sure thing friend.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Have you ever been married.

Louis looks up into the sky and grins.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Almost, once. Would you like to hear the tale?

FLETCHER HARRISON

We got nothing better to do I suppose.

Louis speaks as another flashback begins.

Louis's Flashback

Deep in a dense wilderness of towering tree's and dense bushes. Then Louis appears, in leather attire and cap, and stumbles through the forest, his face is red and he is sweating.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Some years ago, I was headed back south after a year up North. But on the way back I got sick, a fever, felt like I was dying. I don't know how long I walked, I was delerious.

Then Louis stumbles out from the wilderness and comes to a grassy field behind a small cabin. He falls to the ground and passes out. An older woman with brown hair in a bun and wearing a white dress, runs out from the house and kneels beside the unconscious man.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I was fortunate enough to reach the home of a widow who lived near a small town. She took me in a nursed me back to health.

Louis is laying in a bed, with his coat of, as the woman wipes his face with a wet clothe. He then slowly opens his eyes, sits up and looks at her.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I could tell from the first moment she was in love with me. And since I figured she saved my life, I would stay a few weeks.

Now we see Louis in his outfit sitting in a chair in a room of the woman's cabin. She is kneeling on the ground in front of him and smiling.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Soon she asked me to stay with her and get married. She had gotten a large inheritance from her late husband so I would never have to return to the wilds again.

Then she takes his hand and pulls him towards the bedroom door. Next we see Louis laying in bed with her, covered by sheets and his clothes on the floor. He is asleep.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

That night, it was magical. Then I woke up.

Louis opens his eyes and looks at the woman sleeping beside him. He then quickly turns his head and looks at the ceiling, he seems scared and worried.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Then I realized I would be spending every night with the same woman for the rest of my life. I was never so terrified in all my life.

Louis is now quickly getting his clothes back on. Then he is tip toeing through the house. Once he is out the front door he runs off into the night.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I got the hell out of there and ran. I did not stop running till dawn.

Louis is now standing on a dirt road at dawn in the countryside, he is panting and he looks behind him. The scene dissolves.

EXT. LAKE MOMENTS LATER

As Louis finishes telling Fletcher his story, Fletcher is looking at him with shock and disgust. Louis looks at him.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Is there a problem friend?

Fletcher frown's then continues to row.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Lafleur, for the rest of this trip, keep your mouth shut unless I speak to you; you French jackass.

Louis then looks up at the sky.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Well, we got a long trip so I should save some of my astonishing tails for later.

Then they continue south in silence.

ext. lake night

The large body of water late at night. The sky is clear and a nearly full moon casts a soft glow across the surface of the lake, the stars are bright and vibrant. The silver canoe is going south, Fletcher is still rowing in the back as Louis lies in the front asleep and snoring loudly. Fletcher looks at the sleeping man the grunts and shakes his head. He rows for awhile then stops and lays the paddle across his legs.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Lafleur.

Louis then rolls over so he is on his side and continues snoring. Fletcher raises his voice.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Lafleur wake up!

Louis then slowly opens his eyes then sits up in the canoe and stretches out his arms on yawn. Then he starts scratching his beard with his hands then looks groggily at Fletcher.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Friend, why did you wake me? I was having this most pleasant dream about this woman in Montreal. She really new-

FLETCHER HARRISON

Be silent please. Now, I have been rowing for over twelve hours.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Perhaps we should land and make camp for the night.

Fletcher starts rowing again.

FLETCHER HARRISON

We'll keep going till south until we reach the entrance to the river will take for next few hundred miles.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Don't you need to sleep?

FLETCHER HARRISON

In the northern wilds, I can go many days without sleep.

Louis lays back down in the canoe, folds his arms across his chess and looks at the stars as he smiles.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Once, I went two whole weeks without a single minute of sleep. By the end of the second week, I killed a skinned a large bear. The pelt would have bought me at least one night with this lovely woman in Montreal.

FLETCHER HARRISON

How much did the pelt make up?

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Funny thing, when I woke up the bear was gone. Though there was a small tree someone had removed the bark from. Funny, no?

Fletcher stops rowing again.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Lafleur, I have been paddling for over half a day. It is about time you did some.

Louis looks at him and grins.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Tell you what friend, you paddle for the next hundred miles and the next two hundred are mine.

Louis then returns to looking at the sky. Fletcher frowns and starts rowing again.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I wish the commander had sent me on my own. I starting to think you won't be of much help.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I promise you Fletcher, by the end of this voyage who'll be glad Louis Lafleur came along.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I doubt that.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I can't wait to get back. I see my favorite woman Nora and we'll have one night together.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Do you love her?

Louis looks at Fletcher and seems puzzled.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I'm not entirely sure what love is, could you explain it to me?

FLETCHER HARRISON

All I can tell you is that it is when you care for another then for yourself.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Nora, well there is no woman in this world who I like better. But I like a lot of women, but Nora is my favorite.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Maybe you should marry her Lafleur.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I really like her, but then I would be stuck w-

Fletcher stops paddling and looks forward and seems concerned.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Friend, is there something wrong?

FLETCHER HARRISON

Keep your mouth shut and look behind you.

Louis sits up and looks towards the front of the canoe, a large wooden navy vessel is heading towards them quickly and is about two hundred yards away. Light from lamps light up the deck.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

A ship, so what?

FLETCHER HARRISON

I think it is a war ship.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Must be British, would an American ship be so far North?

FLETCHER HARRISON

We'll just be silent till it passes.

Louis shrugs then lies back down and gazes at the stars.

ext. deck of warship moments later

On the deck of a warship, two sailors in American Navy uniforms. There are several canons along the sides and a wooden railing. One sailor, Samuel, looks to the other Peter.

Samuel

Should command really have ordered us to be so far North when the attack is not for several months? It might make the British suspicious.

peter

Captain says he was told to gather information about the strength of British forces in the great lakes. When war is finally declared, I suppose the admirals don't want to go in blind.

Samuel then pulls out a parcel of chewing tobacco from a pocket, opens it and puts some in his mouth. Peter looks at him as he chews.

PETER

Are you scared that soon will be openly fighting the British navy?

SAMUEL

We are not paid to do nothing, we are paid to fight.

PETER

I think we can leave watch early, we both need some rest. And spit that tobacco. I don't want it on the floor next to my bunk.

Samuel nods then walks towards the railing.

ext. lake seconds later

The gigantic warship sails down the river. Both Louis and Fletcher are in the canoe as the mammoth ship passes a few feet beside them, the wake of the ship rocking the canoe. They both look up and then Louis looks and Fletcher who then looks at him. Then they both look up again. Just then a wad of spittle and tobacco hits Louis in the face and runs down one of his cheeks. Fletcher then looks at Louis and smiles. Louis frowns and wipes the wet tobacco from his face and looks Fletcher seeming irritated. Then they both watch as the ship passes by and begins to sail away behind them. Once it is a good distance behind them, Fletcher shakes his head then starts rowing again and still smiling. Louis then lies down and looks up.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Why are you so happy all of a sudden?

FLETCHER HARRISON

It is nothing Lafleur. Nothing at all.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Think it was an American ship?

FLETCHER HARRISON

I don't know. But some sailor on that ship just really improved my night.

Louis closes his eyes and clasps his hands together.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Are you going back to sleep?

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Since I'll be rowing for two hundred miles soon, I need plenty of sleep.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Well, I guess I won't have to listen to your mouth.

Louis talks sounding tired.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Wake me up if anything exciting happens.

Fletcher continues to row, still smiling. As the canoe starts to disappear into the darkness of night, the sound of Louis snoring loudly starts to echo from the direction of the canoe.

ext. lake dusk dusk

The vast body of water at dusk, the sun sets in the west. In the distance is land, a dense forest along the shoreline. There is the mouth to a small river which cuts through the woods.

ext. river moments later

The river goes South, along the shores is a muddy bank. On both sides is a dark forest and the sounds of birds singing from deeper within it. The canoe lies upon the muddy shore. Louis stands beside it while Fletcher is in front of it and looking at the forest, he seems exhausted. Louis looks at his back and grins.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Should we not go a bit further friend, there is still some light left?

Fletcher looks back and him then to the forest again, frowns and shakes his head.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I have been awake and rowing for the past few days. I need sleep so we'll make camp nearby. We could go a bit further if you would actually do some of the paddling.

Louis yawns and scratches his chest with his hands.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Let's make camp. I'm tired anyways.

Fletcher looks back at Louis and stares at him.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Since we left, you have been awake no more then six hours.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Need rest for the voyage ahead.

Fletcher then walks towards the forest.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Let's go?

Louis looks back at the canoe.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

What about the canoe?

As Fletcher goes into the forest, he talks.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Lafleur, could you be of some use for the first time on this trip. Get the canoe.

Louis shrugs, turns and looks at the canoe. He then takes hold of the front of it, he struggles to pull it along but slowly is able to pull it across the mud towards the forest. As he enters the woods, he speaks.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I get the feeling I'll be doing all the work.

Then the canoe and Louis vanish into the forest.

ext. small clearing in forest night

In the woods is a small clearing with ground of brown dirt. The canoe is to one side of the clearing, and small campfire in the center. Fletcher and Louis are sitting at the other side, each holding one of the two muskets then took with them. Fletcher then pulls the trigger and the wheel lock makes a metallic click but the musket is empty. He then picks up the bag of gun powder beside him as well as a lead shot are starts to load the musket. Louis then raises the musket, aims it and looks down the sight. Fletcher continues to load his musket as he talks.

FLETCHER HARRISON

How much experience do you have with guns Lafleur?

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Up in the northern wilds, it is unwise to be without one. You?

Louis then puts the musket on the ground.

FLETCHER HARRISON

My father train me how to shoot with the rifle he had all his life. I still take it with me when I go up north?

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Could you not afford a newer rifle friend?

Fletcher finishes loading the musket and then lays it on the ground beside him. He then looks into the flames of the campfire as the light bathes his face. Louis is looking at him.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I keep it with me because it reminds me of everything he taught me. It has sentimental value to me.

Louis smiles then lays down on his back and looks up at the stars in the sky and smiles.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I understand. I have no mementos from my dad. Wish I had one.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Why not?

LOUIS LAFLEUR

He left when I was five. When to live with this woman to the east of the colonies. My mother raised me.

Fletcher then looks towards Louis for a moment then at the fire again.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I guess I understand why you may be such a lecherous man.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Maybe you have a point.

Louis then looks at Fletcher for a moment then at the stars again.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

But at least I know how to have fun Fletcher. Guess your dad gave you many lectures on how fun is bad for you.

Fletcher then lies down on the ground and looks at the sky. He closes his eyes and rolls over onto his side.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Get some sleep, we have a long trek tomorrow.

Louis closes his eyes.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Goodnight Fletcher.

Fletcher groggily replies.

FLETCHER HARRISON

Goodnight Lafleur.

Both men then fall asleep between the burning fire between them.

EXT. SMALL CLEARING IN FOREST NIGHT

The clearing later in the night. The campfire is now just glowing embers but the light of the moon cast a soft glow on the clearing, on either side the men sleep. Fletcher is still on his side and sleeps silently. Louis is on his back and is snoring loudly. They sleep for a few moments when a large black bear enters the clearing and slowly walks towards the sleeping. The bear then stops a few feet away from them and looks at Louis then at Fletcher. Then the bear walks towards Louis and is standing over him. Then the bear lowers its head and starts looking at his face. Louis stops snoring and grins.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

I'll give you all the money I have if you do that a while longer.

The bear then stops licking his face and then stands on its back feet and still looks down Louis. Then Louis, still smiling, opens his eyes and looks up at the bear. His eyes open widely and he seems scared.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Hello.

The bear remains still and continues to look at Louis. He looks at Fletcher and speaks lowly.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Friend, you might want to wake up.

Then Louis looks back up at the bear. He then grabs the musket beside him and then pushes himself with his legs across the ground of the clearing and away from the bear. The bear, still on its hind legs, watches him crawl away. Louis then raises the musket, aims it at the bear and fires. There is just a metallic click because it is unloaded. He then lowers and looks at the musket.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Guess I should have loaded it.

He looks at the bear again. The bear then falls back onto its front legs and begins to slowly walk towards Louis. Louis then gets onto his feet and pulls the large knife from the sheath on his belt and readies it. He then looks at Fletcher and yells.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

Fletcher!

As Louis backs away from the bear as it walks towards him, Fletcher wakes up and rolls over, seeming angry. But when he see's the bear, he then quickly gabs the musket on the ground beside him and gets to his feet. He aims the rifle at the bear and fires, there is the thunderous crack of a gun shot. The bear is hit in the side and it let's out a roar of pain which fills the clearing. It then turns towards Fletcher and begins to approach him. Fletcher then falls to one knee, grabs the gunpowder and lead shot and frantically reloads the musket. Louis then looks at the bear and grins.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

You are not the first bear I have crossed swords with friend.

Louis then runs towards the bear as it walks away and then leaps onto its back. Louis then begins to use the knife and plunges it the bears side repeatedly as it groans in pain. He continues until the bear quickly gets onto its back legs throwing Louis off who then falls to the ground. He crawls away from the bear with his knife pointed at it. The bear falls to its front turns then begins to charge at Louis, but Fletcher finishes reloading the musket aims and fires. The bear groans in pain again and rises up onto its hind legs. It swaggers back and forth for a moment, then falls onto its back. Fletcher and Louis look at each other blankly then both get to their feet. Fletcher, still holding the musket, and Louis, knife still in hand, walk to the bear and stand over the carcass. Louis then returns the knife to its sheath and smiles.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

We make and good team Fletcher, no?

Fletcher then looks at Louis and then goes back to the remains of the campfire and lies down on his side, putting the musket beside him. He speaks groggily.

FLETCHER HARRISON

I need sleep Lafleur. If you wake me up for anything less then another bear, then that general is not the only man who is going to be dead by the end of this trip. Now go to bed.

Louis grins at the bear.

LOUIS LAFLEUR

You sleep. This bear's pelt is worth a good money. Won't let it go to waste.

Fletcher then falls asleep as Louis kneels beside the bear and pulls out the knife again. The moon still hangs over the clearing.





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